Talk-Show Pioneer Phil Donahue to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
By Irish America Staff
October / November 2017
Television talk-show pioneer, writer, and film producer Phil Donahue will receive the Irish American Writers and Artists’ 2017 annual Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award in October during a ceremony in New York.
Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, IAW&A board member and co-chair of the St. Pat’s For All Parade, which is held in Queens, New York, praised the choice of Donahue. “He has always been the ultimate Irish American voice for truth and justice in media. As our parade Grand Marshal last March, he spoke about human rights, LGBTQ rights, and an Irish history of immigration and how we should embrace new waves of immigrants from around the world,” she said Born in Cleveland, Donahue spent a decade as a Dayton reporter and radio interviewer of such notables as John F. Kennedy and Malcolm X before creating the innovative Phil Donahue Show, which often focused on topics dividing liberals and conservatives in America. On national television for 29 years, The Phil Donahue Show remains the longest continuous run of any syndicated TV talk show in U.S. history. During his career, Donahue received 20 Emmy Awards. He received a Peabody Award in 1980, and was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1993.
In July 2002, after seven years of retirement, Phil Donahue returned to the air with Donahue on MSNBC, only to have the show cancelled in February 2003 because of Donahue’s public opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
“Apart from Mr. Donahue’s many artistic triumphs,” said IAW&A president Larry Kirwan, “Irish American Writers and Artists, as a progressive organization, is proud to salute his political activism and his very meaningful and costly protest against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”
The Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2009 to honor the accomplishments of a writer, actor, musician or other artist whose body of work exemplifies the level of integrity established by O’Neill. For more information, visit i-am-wa.org. ♦