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Newton N. Minow Named 2016 PBS “Be More” Award Recipient
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CHICAGO, May 17, 2016 – PBS today announced that Newton N. Minow is the recipient of the 12th PBS “Be more” Award. This annual tribute celebrates individuals who embody the spirit of helping Americans to discover more, to experience more, and to “Be more.” PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger presented the award at the PBS Annual Meeting in Chicago.

In 1961, during his inaugural address as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Mr. Minow famously described television as a “vast wasteland” and called on broadcasters to serve the public interest. An early champion of educational television, he is a critically important figure in the development of public service media. Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Minow has advocated for high standards in programming, advanced new technologies and expanded choice for viewers. In addition to his work as a public servant, lawyer and author, Mr. Minow has served as the Chairman of the Board for both PBS and member station WTTW.

“Long before PBS was created, Newt understood that broadcasters have the power and the obligation to enrich the lives of the American people. He continues to urge media leaders today to reach higher and help our nation build a stronger future,” said Ms. Kerger. “I cannot think of any other single person whose ideas and career have done more to shape the mission and work our system does each day. I am grateful to have the opportunity to honor this dedicated champion who never loses sight of all the media can and should be.”

About Newton N. Minow

Newton N. Minow is Senior Counsel to the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP. He was a partner with Sidley & Austin from 1965-1991.

Mr. Minow was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served as a U.S. Army Sergeant in the China-Burma India Theater in World War II. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, and has been awarded 14 honorary degrees, including Brandeis University, the University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, and the University of Notre Dame.

His career includes service as Law Clerk to Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson of the U.S. Supreme Court and as Assistant Counsel to Governor Adlai E. Stevenson. He was a partner in the law firm of Stevenson, Rifkind & Wirtz when, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed him Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He served in the Kennedy Administration until 1963 when he became Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. In 1965, he joined the law firm of Leibman, Williams, Bennett, Baird & Minow, which merged with Sidley & Austin in 1972. Sidley Austin merged with Brown & Wood in 2001.

Mr. Minow has been a director of many companies including Aon Corporation, CBS, Sara Lee Corporation, Foote, Cone & Belding, Manpower Inc. and the Tribune Company.

In addition, he is a former chairman of The RAND Corporation, trustee emeritus of the Mayo Clinic, a life trustee of Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame, a former trustee and chairman of the Carnegie Corporation, and former Chairman of PBS (Public Broadcasting Service).
Mr. Minow has written five books and written numerous magazine articles.

Mr. Minow and his wife, Josephine (Jo) live in Chicago. They have three daughters, Nell, Martha, and Mary.

About the PBS “Be more” Award

The PBS “Be more” Award is an annual award that recognizes extraordinary individuals who inspire people of all ages to expand their horizons, to experience growth and adventure, to explore new ideas and to be more. The award’s previous recipients are Ken Burns, Joan Ganz Cooney, Rebecca Eaton, Jim Lehrer, Bill Moyers, Fred Rogers, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gwen Ifill, Alberto Ibargüen, Miles O’Brien and David Fanning.

About PBS
PBS, with 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 100 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

Media Contacts:

Jan McNamara, PBS,, 703-739-5028
Julia Maish, WTTW,, 773-509-5551