The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans presented its Dante and Mazzei awards on May 29 at Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St., Chicago.
Chicago Tribune Editorial Page Editor R. Bruce Dold received the Dante Award. The honor is bestowed each year on a member of the media who lives up to Dante Alighieri’s call to be no timid friend to truth.
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk received the Mazzei Award. Named after the Revolutionary War patriot who inspired the phrase “all men are created equal,” the award is presented to a person who shows extraordinary skills in the world of public affairs.
Dold was named editor of the editorial page in 2000. Under his direction the Tribune received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The board has earned a dozen national awards during his tenure, including the 2002 and 2008 Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. The board has conducted campaigns to bring more ethical and transparent government in Chicago and Illinois, to improve public education and to abolish the death penalty. In 2008, the Tribune endorsed Barack Obama, marking the first time in history the 163-year-old Tribune had endorsed the Democratic Party nominee for president.
Dold joined the editorial board in 1990 and was named deputy editor in 2005. He received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1994 for a series on the death of a three-year-old boy and the failure of the juvenile court and child welfare system to save the child. His writing contributed to sweeping reforms in the protection and care of abused children in Illinois.
He received the 2009 Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial writing from the Society of Professional Journalists and the 1999 National Journalism Award for Commentary from the Scripps Howard Foundation. He has also been honored with the 1999 Herman Kogan Award for Commentary from the Chicago Bar Association. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009. He has served four times as a Pulitzer Prize juror, chairing the Commentary jury in 2014. His work has been honored by numerous civic organizations.
Dold joined the Tribune in 1978 as a reporter. He covered the 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns and the mayoral campaigns of Harold Washington and Richard M. Daley.
He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the National Conference of Editorial Writers. He served on the board of the Illinois First Amendment Center.
Dold received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism in 1977 and a Master of Science in Journalism in 1978 from Northwestern University and has served as an instructor at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. He and his wife, Eileen, have two grown daughters.
Mark Steven Kirk of Highland Park won simultaneous elections to the U. S. Senate on Nov. 2, 2010. A special election allowed Kirk to complete the term of his predecessor, while the general election seated him for a six-year Senate term commencing on Jan. 4, 2011.
He serves on the Senate Committees on Appropriations; Banking, Housing and Urban Development: Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and the Special Committee on Aging.
Kirk was first elected to serve the people of Illinois in 2000, winning a U.S. House seat representing the 10th Congressional District. He was re-elected four times, serving until his election to the Senate. Prior to his 10 years in Congress, Kirk served on the staff of Congressman John Porter, as a special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State, and as counsel to the U.S House International Relations Committee.
Born in Champaign, Kirk received his B.A. from Cornell University, his M.S. from the London School of Economics and his J.D. from Georgetown University. He has served in the U. S. Navy Reserve since 1989, currently holding the rank of commander.