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S.F. writer is a Heinz winner

September 12, 2007|From the Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- A San Francisco author who has nurtured young writers and a doctor who has pushed nations to share disease information in hopes of combating illness were among six people named Heinz Award winners on Wednesday.

The annual $250,000 prize is given to people who make notable contributions in the arts and humanities, the environment, the human condition, public policy, technology, the economy and employment.

Dave Eggers, whose books include "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and "What Is the What," was presented the arts and humanities award. Eggers founded the 826 Valencia writing laboratories in San Francisco and McSweeney's, a publishing house that has nurtured emerging writers.

"As a young man, he has infused his love of writing and learning into the broader community, nurturing the talents and aspirations of a new generation of writers and creating new outlets for a range of literary expression," said Teresa Heinz, the foundation's chairwoman.

Dr. David L. Heymann, an assistant director general of the World Health Organization and an international public health advocate, was given the public policy award for persuading nations to share data on disease exposure within their borders. Heymann, who got his undergraduate degree at Penn State, works for the WHO in Geneva.

The Heinz Family Foundation of Pittsburgh has presented the awards since 1994 in memory of Sen. John Heinz III, heir to the Heinz food fortune, who died in a 1991 plane crash.

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