This awards program is administered by the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and
Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Selections are made by the National
Advisory Board upon recommendations of special screening sessions of the faculty.
In 1938, the National Association of Broadcasters formed a committee to establish a
prize similar to the Pulitzer Prize for radio. One member of the committee, Lambdin Kay,
was a long-time manager of WSB Radio in Atlanta. Kay became a champion of the awards
program and made it his special project. In a fashion similar to the relationship
the Pulitzer Prize has with Columbia University, Kay approached the University of
Georgia for assistance. The awards program was named in honor of George Foster Peabody, a native Georgian, industrialist, financier and major
benefactor of the University of Georgia. His daughter, Marjorie Peabody Waite, even served
on the first Advisory Board and commissioned the design of the famous bronze
In 1940, at the first Peabody Awards ceremony, 19 Institutional awards were given to
various radio stations and organizations across the country. One personal award was
given to reporter Elmer Davis, the "Personal Award for Best Reporting of the
The purpose of this award is to recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious
service by radio and television networks, stations, producing organizations, cable
television organizations and individuals. While the intent of the Peabody Awards is
to recognize outstanding achievement in broadcasting and cable, the competition is open to
entries produced for alternative distribution, including corporate, educational, home-video release and CD-ROM. In general, non-broadcast or
non-cable entries should be publicly available and part of an overall broadcast or cable
enterprise. Programs produced and intended for theatrical motion picture exhibition are
not eligible for a Peabody Award.
Personal Peabody Award winners over the years have included Rod Serling, Walter
Cronkite, Orson Welles, Studs Turkel, Charles Kurault, Norman Lear, Pauline Frederick,
Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey and Christiane Amanpour.
Information obtained from http://www.peabody.uga.edu/about/index.html
Awardee searches can also be performed on this site.