2019 Ken Burns American Heritage Prize Recipient:
N. Scott Momaday, Ph.D.

Photographed by Jill Momaday

Photographed by Jill Momaday

Dr. Momaday is a Pulitzer prize-winning novelist, poet, playwright, painter and photographer, storyteller, and professor of English and American literature. Born in Oklahoma, he is a member of the Kiowa tribe and among his primary interests are Native American art and oral tradition.

Dr. Momaday received the National Medal of Arts “for his writings and his work that celebrate and preserve Native American art and oral tradition,” and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his first novel, House Made of Dawn.

Dr. Momaday has been a commentator of National Public Radio, the voice of the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institution, the narrator of PBS documentaries including Remembered Earth and Last Stand at Little Bighorn, and a featured on-camera commentator on the PBS series The West produced by Ken Burns and directed by Stephen Ives.

A Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, the Premio Letterario Internazionale “Mondello,” Italy’s highest literary award, The Saint Louis Literary Award, the Premio Fronterizo, the highest award of the Border Book Festival, the 2008 Oklahoma Humanities Award, and the 2003 Autry Center for the American West Humanities Award are among the many honors bestowed upon Dr. Momaday. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds 21 honorary doctoral degrees from American and European colleges and universities. Dr. Momaday is a retired professor of English and American Literature and earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University.