Contact: Lauren Dyke
David Foster Named 2009 Horatio Alger Award Winner
Producer, Composer and Arranger for Reprise Records and 143 Records to be Inducted in April in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, February 3, 2009 – The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is pleased to announce that Grammy award-winning producer David Foster will be presented with the 2009 Horatio Alger Award and inducted as a lifetime member of the association for his determination in achieving success despite his humble upbringing.
Foster, a producer, composer and arranger for Reprise Records and 143 Records in Los Angeles, will be officially inducted into the prestigious association on April 3rd in Washington, D.C. Recipients must have overcome humble beginnings or adversity to achieve success and serve as outstanding role models to the national community.
“We welcome these extraordinary leaders into the Horatio Alger Association. Each has demonstrated steadfast determination and amazing achievements that support our unwavering mission of honoring true American success stories,” said David L. Sokol, president and CEO of the Horatio Alger Association. “David will serve as a role model for today’s youth by encouraging motivation, purpose and superior accomplishments.”
Foster was born in 1949 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and showed early promise as a talented musician. At 16, he left school to join the back-up band for rock and roll legend Chuck Berry. In the midst of his burgeoning career in popular music, Foster tragically lost his father when he was 18.
Foster began writing songs and producing, eventually receiving his first Grammy award for writing Earth, Wind & Fire’s “After the Love Has Gone” in 1979. Throughout the 1980s, Foster worked with notable recording artists such as Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Neil Diamond. In 1984, Foster scored his greatest success to date with the single “Hard Habit to Break,” which earned him a Grammy for Producer of the Year. Foster received three more Grammys in 1992, (Producer of the Year, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year) for Natalie Cole’s album “Unforgettable.”
It was noted in 1994 that for two years, Foster’s productions held the No. 1 spot on Billboard Magazine’s “Hot 100 List” more than 25 percent of the time. His domination of the charts continued with Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love.” To date, Foster has won a total of 15 Grammys and has been nominated 44 times. He has been nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Song and has won a Golden Globe. In 1995, he established his first recording label, 143 Records, and was eventually promoted to senior vice president of Warner Music Group.
An active philanthropist, Foster established the David Foster Foundation in 1986, which assists families of children in need of organ transplants. In recognition of his humanitarian efforts, Foster received the Order of Canada in 1988. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1997 and became an American citizen in 2000.
In addition to Foster’s award, 10 other outstanding individuals who have accomplished remarkable achievements through hard work, self-reliance and perseverance, will receive the 2009 Horatio Alger Award. They are:
- James S.C. Chao, chairman, Foremost Group
- Clayton Paul Hilliard, president and owner, Badger Oil Corporation
- Rebecca MacDonald, founder and executive chair, Energy Savings Income Fund (international recipient)
- Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and CEO, American Electric Power
- Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO, PepsiCo Inc.
- Carl H. Ricker, Jr., founder, chairman and CEO, Azalea Holdings; partner, Campus Crest Communities; chairman, executive committee, Capital Bank Corp; and co-founder and chairman, MXT Card Services, LLC
- Thomas Joseph Shannon, Jr., founder, T-Bird Restaurant Group, Inc. and Village Development Co.
- Denzel Washington, Academy Award-winning actor and director
- Robert L. Wright, Jr., chairman, FE Holdings, Inc.
- Stephen A. Wynn, chairman and CEO, Wynn Resorts
The new members will be presented with their awards April 3rd at the Horatio Alger Awards Induction Ceremonies. Activities include three days of meetings and celebrations in some of the nation’s most historic buildings. The Horatio Alger National Scholars, remarkable high school seniors, will also be formally honored during the three-day gathering.
A complete list of all of the Horatio Alger Members can be found at http://www.horatioalger.com/members.cfm.
About The Horatio Alger Association
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. The Horatio Alger Association offers three annual scholarship programs: the National Scholarship Program and state scholarship programs, and graduate grants. The association awards nearly $7 million annually in college scholarships and has given more than $63 million to deserving students since 1984. The association is a 2008 Combined Federal Campaign participant, ID# 77062. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.