Damon Runyon Award
The Damon Runyon Award has been presented annually by the historic Denver Press Club each spring since 1994.
The award is named after Damon Runyon, a legendary journalist who grew up in Colorado, worked at The Denver Post and Pueblo Chieftain, and became a member of the Press Club in 1907.
Runyon later went on to fame and glory in New York City as a columnist for Hearst newspapers. He is best-known for a collection of stories called “Guys and Dolls,” which later turned into a Broadway musical and a movie.
The Runyon Award banquet is the major fundraiser of the historic club, which is the oldest in the nation. Proceeds go toward the club’s historic preservation and five scholarships for $1500 and one — the John C. Ensslin Memorial Scholarship — for $3,000. The scholarships are reserved for college journalists from universities in Colorado.
This year’s Damon Runyon Award ceremony will be April 22, 2022. Find more details here.
Damon Runyon Award Honorees
A native of Orangeburg, S.C., Robinson graduated from Orangeburg High School – one of a small number of Black students at what had been an all-White school. At the University of Michigan, he was co-editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily.
He began his journalism career at the San Francisco Chronicle, where one of his early assignments was coverage of the kidnapping of publishing heiress Patricia Hearst.
Robinson has been at The Washington Post since 1980. He has been a city hall reporter, assistant city editor, city editor, foreign editor, assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s Style section, and associate editor. He served as The Post’s South America correspondent, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 1988 to 1992, and as the paper’s London bureau chief from 1992 to 1994. He has been writing his column for the op-ed page since 2005.
Robinson won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his “eloquent columns on the 2008 presidential campaign that focus on the election of the first African-American president, showcasing graceful writing and grasp of the larger historic picture.”
He is the author of three books: Coal to Cream: A Black Man’s Journey Beyond Color to an Affirmation of Race; Last Dance in Havana; and Disintegration, The Splintering of Black America.
Robinson is married, has two sons, and lives in Virginia.