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The Norman Mailer Center & The Norman Mailer Writer's Colony

2010 Annual Benefit Gala

The Second Annual Benefit Gala took place on Tuesday, October 19 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Tina Brown served as Honorary Chair for the evening. Diliana Roussev served as Chair, and Gay Talese served as the Master of Ceremonies. 

2010 Annual Benefit Gala

Sunday, October 13, 2019· 7:00 PM
42nd Street
New York, New York

Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement

Orhan Pamuk

Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement

Orhan Pamuk was born in 1952 in Istanbul.  He is the author of eight novels, the memoir Istanbul, and two works of non-fiction. He is the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature.  The Swedish Academy praised Pamuk, the first Turkish citizen to win the Prize, “who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.” 

My Name Is Red received the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the Italian Grinzane Cavour, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  Snow, which The New York Times named one of the best books of the year, won Le Prix Médicis Étranger and Le Prix Méditerranée Étranger in France.  Istanbul was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The White Castle received the Independent Foreign Fiction Award.  Pamuk’s most recent novel, The Museum of Innocence, became an instant bestseller upon its release in Turkey in January 2008, and was published internationally thereafter.  His articles have appeared in publications worldwide including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Granta, La Repubblica, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), El Pais, and Le Monde.  TIME magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006.

Pamuk is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences. He holds honorary doctorates from universities including Yale University, the Free University of Berlin, and Madrid University. He was the 2009 Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard University, and Harvard University Press will publish a book of his Norton Lectures, The Naïve and the Sentimental Novelist, in November.  Pamuk is currently the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.  One of Europe’s most prominent novelists, his work has been translated into over fifty languages.





Orhan Pamuk Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement Presented by Tina Brown
Mailer Prize for Distinguished Journalism and Humanitarianism

Ruth Gruber

Mailer Prize for Distinguished Journalism and Humanitarianism

At the brink of World War II, Ruth Gruber, at 24, began a career as a journalist, writing for the New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune on women under fascism, communism, and democracy. She became the first foreign correspondent, male or female, allowed to interviewed pioneers and prisoners in Stalin's Soviet Gulag.

In 1941, Secretary of the Interior Harold I. Ickes appointed Ruth Gruber as his special assistant. Soon after, President Roosevelt, issued an executive order to permit 1,000 Jewish refugees from Naples, Italy to "visit" America as his "guests." Gruber was given an honorary rank of "general," and was sent to secretly meet and escort the refugees throughout the long and treacherous voyage across the Atlantic. Gruber fought on their behalf until they finally were granted U.S. citizenship.

After the war, Gruber worked for the New York Post reporting on the horrible conditions of the European Jewish refugees in the displaced persons camps. While in Palestine, she learned that a ship named Exodus had been attacked by British destroyers after attempting to deliver 4,500 refugees. She followed the Jewish prisoners from Exodus, to the squalid refugee camps in Cyprus, and by prison ship back to southern France. Ruth Gruber was the only journalist allowed to accompany the Jewish refugees back to Germany. Ruth's book about the incident, Destination Palestine: The Story of the Haganah Ship Exodus 1947, was used as source material for the movie and book Exodus. Thereafter, she continued working as a special foreign correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune.

Since 1938 she has written 19 books receiving many awards for her writing and humanitarian acts, including the Na'amat Golda Meir Human Rights Award and awards from the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance.

Ruth Gruber Mailer Prize for Distinguished Journalism and Humanitarianism Presented by Alana Newhouse
Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Magazine Publishing

Jann Wenner

Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Magazine Publishing

In 1967 above a small print shop in San Francisco, Jann Wenner, a 20-year-old rock critic enthralled by the burgeoning Bay Area Music scene, published the first issue of Rolling Stone. Throughout the magazine’s 43-year history, Wenner’s commitment to quality journalism has kept Rolling Stone in the forefront of the popular dialogue, both recording and shaping the zeitgeist through definitive music coverage, provocative interviews, award-winning photography and incisive investigative and political reporting. The magazine has won 15 National Magazine Awards.


Some of Rolling Stone’s most distinguished literary accomplishments reflect Wenner’s remarkable eye for talent. In 1972 Wenner edited Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail,” the following year Annie Leibovitz became the magazine’s chief photographer, and in the 80s, Tom Wolfe defined an era with the epic Bonfire of the Vanities, serialized in Rolling Stone over 27 issues. Most recently, the pages of Rolling Stone have included Matt Taibbi’s Goldman Sachs exposé “The Great American Bubble Machine,” and “The Runaway General,” a profile of General Stanley McChrystal by Michael Hastings. that ultimately led to McChrystal’s resignation. Other writers and photographers whose work have appeared in Rolling Stone include Richard Avedon, Howard Kohn, Cameron Crowe, Joe Eszterhas, Joe Klein, Herb Ritts, Mark Seliger and Jonathan Lethem.
In 1985 Wenner purchased Us magazine, a monthly publication featuring celebrity profiles.. After launching as a weekly in 2000, the publication’s readership swiftly grew under Wenner’s leadership, earning industry accolades while spawning a series of imitators in the celebrity category. . With circulation rising over 130 percent and the number of readers increasing by 10 million, Us Weekly has become one of the publishing industry’s top success stories. In addition to Rolling Stone and Us, Wenner also owns Men’s Journal, which has been nominated for more than a dozen National Magazine Awards.

Jann Wenner Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Magazine Publishing Presented by Tom Wolfe

Our honorees were:

  • Orhan Pamul, recipient of the Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement (presented by Tina Brown)
  • Ruth Gruber, recipient of the Mailer Prize for Distinguished Journalism and Humanitarian (presented by Alana Newhouse)
  • Jann Wenner, recipient of the Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Magazine Publishing (presented by Tom Wolfe)

The winners of the Mailer Student Writing Awards, presented in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English, were:

  • National High School Award: Dawna Bagherian, High Above the Ground and Two Finches
  • National Community College Award: Gwyne Bahler, Hair
  • National College Award: Minh Phuong Nguyen, Suffering Self

The winner of the British GQ Norman Mailer Student Writing Award:

  • Helen Madden, Rod, Roy and Jerry Lee

The evening’s sponsors included: Benedikt Taschen, TASCHEN, Condé Nast, Diliana & Spas Roussev, Howard Rothman, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Kathy Schiller, Lawrence Schiller, National Madison Group, Inc., Random House, Inc., Rolling Stone, Sam Radin, Tablet Magazine, The Marmara Manhattan, and Tina Brown & Sir Harold Evans