Steven Spielberg to Be Honored by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
 AP/Invision

Lincoln director Steven Spielberg will receive the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation's Lincoln Leadership Prize during a special dinner at the Hilton Chicago on March 19.

The annual award honors "outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of 16th President Abraham Lincoln. It is intended to honor individuals who manifest great strength of character, individual conscience, and an unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy."

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Spielberg "brings socially relevant issues to the forefront of our minds through the medium of film," said Wayne W. Whalen, chairman of the board of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. "Additionally, his longtime commitment to philanthropic endeavors exemplifies President Lincoln's conscience and spirit, making him truly deserving of this award."

Spielberg's Lincoln earned 12 Oscar nominations, including two wins: best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of the president and best production design.

"This is an extraordinary honor," Spielberg said. "For me, Lincoln's unprecedented commitment to the cause of democracy is one of the most important examples of leadership our nation has ever seen. I am humbled to receive an award that embodies both his legacy and the profound contributions he made to this country."

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Lincoln star Sally Field will present the award to Spielberg at the event.

"Steven's sense of adventure and stunning, ever-evolving gift of filmmaking has affected every corner of the globe," Field said. "He has imprinted iconic images on generations to come with his deep humanity and concern for human rights in films such as Lincoln, Schindler's List, Amistad, The Color Purple and more. Above all, his films illuminate individual courage and celebrate the resilience of the human spirit, which is what the Lincoln Leadership Prize is all about."

The Lincoln Leadership Prize has been awarded since 2006. Previous honorees include former president Bill Clinton, former Polish president Lech Walesa, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, astronaut James A. Lovell Jr. and the late television journalist Tim Russert.

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