“Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail & Ron Chernow to Receive National Archives Foundation Records of Achievement Award
June 15, 2016
The National Archives Foundation today announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Ron Chernow, Tony-award winning film and theater director Thomas Kail, and Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, lyricist and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda will receive its 2016 Records of Achievement Award. The honor recognizes their collective work on the Tony, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize Award-winning Broadway musical “Hamilton,” inspired by the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton by Mr. Chernow. The Broadway musical was directed by Mr. Kail, and was written by and stars Mr. Miranda. All three will receive the award at the Foundation’s annual Gala, held at the National Archives, on September 25 in Washington, DC.
“We are thrilled to honor Ron Chernow, Thomas Kail and Lin-Manuel Miranda this year,” said A’Lelia Bundles, Chair of the Board of the National Archives Foundation. “Together they have turned the early American history of our textbooks into an exciting popular culture phenomenon. Their daring storytelling ignites our interest in the people who shaped our nation and makes us want to know more about the origins of the complex political debates that continue today.”
“Ron Chernow, Thomas Kail, and Lin-Manuel Miranda put history to a modern beat, and made Alexander Hamilton cool again,” said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. “Through their unique storytelling, they have not only shared history, but made it.”
As one of the most talked about musicals in American theater today, “Hamilton” has garnered tremendous commercial success, as well as significant critical acclaim for its historic content. The musical tells the compelling story of Alexander Hamilton’s life and death, taking history into the present by creating an accessible and immersive experience for audiences.
Mr. Chernow said: “The National Archives has laid a banquet table for historians for many years and I have been lucky enough to feast on its riches many times. Hence my special pleasure at being honored by one of my favorite institutions.”
“As the son of an archivist, I can assure you this remarkable honor is deeply felt,” said Mr. Kail. “Growing up in the DC area also makes this a particular thrill. I am humbled to be recognized by such an essential institution, and so proud to be side-by-side with Ron and Lin.”
Mr. Miranda said: “Celebrating our collective work at the National Archives is an honor and privilege. There’s no more fitting location to discuss the lasting impact on Hamilton’s story than the home of the U.S. Constitution. I thank the National Archives Foundation for this opportunity to get my geek on!”
Tickets will go on sale later this summer. However, members of the public are invited to share how “Hamilton” has affected their lives and changed their view of history now at: archivesfoundation.org/gala.
The Records of Achievement Award is the highest honor given by the National Archives Foundation to an individual whose work has fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of original National Archives records. Previous recipients of the Foundation’s award include: Steven Spielberg, Ken Burns, David M. Rubenstein, the late John Hope Franklin, David McCullough, Tom Brokaw, Annette Gordon-Reed, Brian Lamb and C-SPAN, James McPherson, Robert Edsel, and Taylor Branch.
The 2016 Records of Achievement Award Ceremony and Gala is made possible in part by our Presenting Sponsor AT&T, as well as Governor Jim and Janet Blanchard, Edgeworth Economics, Steve and Laura Gates, Deborah and Michael Salzberg, and Marvin F. Weissberg.
The Foundation also wishes to thank our 2016 Gala Committee for their support: Governor Jim and Janet Blanchard, James W. Cicconi, Deborah Ratner Salzberg, Jennifer Warren, and Marvin F. Weissberg.
About the National Archives Foundation: The National Archives Foundation is an independent nonprofit that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage, and encourages citizen engagement in our democracy. The Foundation generates financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs, and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world. Learn more at: archivesfoundation.org.
About the National Archives: The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, so people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at: archives.gov.
About Ron Chernow: Ronald Chernow is an American writer, journalist, historian, and biographer. He has written bestselling and award-winning biographies of historical figures from the world of business, finance, and American politics. Mr. Chernow received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the 2011 American History Book Prize for his book, “Washington: A Life.” and is also the recipient of the National Book Award for Nonfiction for his 1990 book, “The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance.” His biographies of Alexander Hamilton and John D. Rockefeller were both nominated for National Book Critics Circle Awards, while “The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family” was honored with the 1993 George S. Eccles Prize for Excellence in Economic Writing. Mr. Chernow began his career as a freelance journalist, and wrote more than 60 articles in national publications from 1973 to 1982. Mr. Chernow’s biography on Alexander Hamilton was adapted into the award-winning Broadway musical “Hamilton,” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which opened on Broadway in August 2015, and served as historical consultant to the production. Chernow earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Yale, and his master’s degree from Cambridge University in 1972.
About Thomas Kail: Thomas Kail is an American film and theatre director, known for directing the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Mr. Miranda’s musicals “In the Heights” and “Hamilton.” Mr. Kail won the 2016 Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for Director of a Musical. For “In the Heights,” Mr. Kail won the SDC Joseph A. Callaway Award for Best Director and NAACP Award for Best Director, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical, a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical, and the Outer Critics Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical. Previously, Kail directed “Broke-ology,” which garnered Mr. Kail an AUDELCO Award nomination for Best Director of a Dramatic Production. With Mr. Miranda, Mr. Kail wrote the closing rap for the 65th Tony Awards telecast on June 12, 2011. Most recently, Mr. Kail directed “Grease: Live” for Paramount Television, screened live on Fox on Sunday January 31, 2016. Mr. Kail graduated from Wesleyan University in 1999 and lives in New York.
About Lin-Manuel Miranda: Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer, as well as a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award recipient. His current musical, “Hamilton” – with book, music and lyrics by Mr. Miranda, in addition to him playing the title role – opened on Broadway in 2015 following a sold-out run at New York’s Public Theater In 2016, Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards including Best Book and Best Score for Mr. Miranda, the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Off-Broadway, “Hamilton” received a record-breaking 10 Lortel Awards, as well as three Outer Critic Circle Awards, eight Drama Desk Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical, and an OBIE for Best New American Play. “Hamilton” is the 2015 recipient of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. Mr. Miranda’s first Broadway musical, “In the Heights,” received four 2008 Tony Awards (including Best Orchestrations, Best Choreography and Best Musical), with Mr. Miranda receiving a Tony Award for Best Score, as well as a nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. “In the Heights” also took home a 2009 Grammy Award for its Original Broadway Cast Album and was recognized as a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in 2002, and lives in New York with his wife, son, and dog. To read more about Mr. Miranda and his work, visit his website at: http://www.linmanuel.com.