Tom Brokaw Honored By New York Public Library As a ‘Library Lion’

By A.J. Katz 

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You have likely read this sentence before, but it bears repeating: Tom Brokaw was honored for a legendary career in journalism last night.

This time, it was the New York Public Library celebrating the longtime NBC Newsman. The organization named him a “Library Lion” at a ceremony Monday evening.

In an interview with the Public Library leading up to the event, Brokaw said, “Nothing is fixed. We’re constantly evolving as a society and our institutions are constantly evolving, and libraries will always be the heart of intellectual life, quite honestly. In whatever form – whether they’re bricks and mortar or whether they’re digital – they’ll be what we require. That’s where we go. It’s the front lobe, it’s the heart, and it’s everything that we are as a human race in terms of ideas and thinking and creativity.”

Brokaw was honored along with bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, the 14th Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, Pulitzer Prize and 2016 National Book Award-winning writer Colson Whitehead, and iconic theater and visual artist Robert Wilson last night.

Robert Wilson, Colson Whitehead, Carla Hayden, Tom Brokaw, Michael Chabon (Credit: Angela Pham/

Past honorees (or “Lions”) include Nelson Mandela, Ethan Hawke, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Scorcese, Gloria Steinem, Stephen Sondheim, Elie Wiesel,  Robert Caro and Bob Silvers.

The Public Library has been honoring legends in the fields of arts, culture, literature, scholarship since 1981.