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David McCullough's 'American Spirit' honored with Christopher Award

| Friday, April 6, 2018, 10:04 a.m.
Author David McCullough addresses students at Duquesne University's graduation ceremonies at the AJ Palumbo Center, Uptown on Friday, May 6, 2016. McCullough was presented with an honorary doctor of humane letters at the commencement ceremony.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Author David McCullough addresses students at Duquesne University's graduation ceremonies at the AJ Palumbo Center, Uptown on Friday, May 6, 2016. McCullough was presented with an honorary doctor of humane letters at the commencement ceremony.
Author and historian David McCullough
William B. McCullough
Author and historian David McCullough
The American Spirit' by David McCullough
Simon & Schuster
The American Spirit' by David McCullough

Pittsburgh native David McCullough has added to his already extensive list of awards.

The noted historian and author recently received his third Christopher Award for "The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For" (Simon and Schuster).

The Christopher Awards were created in 1949 to celebrate authors, illustrators, writers, producers and directors whose work "affirms the highest values of the human spirit." The Christophers are a nonprofit organization founded in 1945 by Maryknoll Father James Keller.

"The American Spirit," published last year, is a collection of McCullough's speeches exploring the ideals, values and individuals that brought out the best in our country's citizens.

Previously, McCullough, 84, was awarded the Christopher Lifetime Achievement Award and honored for "John Adams." He also has received two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

McCullough was born in Pittsburgh in 1933 and grew up in the Point Breeze area. He attended Shady Side Academy and graduated in 1951.

In a speech in 2016 to the graduating class at Shady Side Academy, McCullough said he frequently comes across Pittsburgh in his research. He pointed out that Alcoa provided the aluminum for the Wright brothers' plane engine, and that the steel used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge originated here.

"It not only makes me proud (that Pittsburgh played a part in these historical feats), but it makes me want to convey that reality to my audience," he said. "If you don't understand the history of Pittsburgh, you don't understand the history of our country."

Pittsburgh honored McCullough by naming the 16th Street Bridge after him.

His next book, "The Pioneers," is due out in 2019. The story of the first settlers of the Northwest Territory will unfold through three generations of an "extraordinary" family, according to Simon & Schuster.

The films recognized by the Christopher Awards this year are "Darkest Hour," "Ladybird," "The Star" and "Wonder." For a full list of the awards, go to christophers.org .

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