The Lectures

The Herb Block Foundation brings notable speakers to lecture at the annual Herblock Prize & Lecture awards ceremony. Guest speakers discuss social issues of the day in the spirit of Herb Block.

Retired Supreme Court Justice

Stephen G. Breyer (Retired), Associate Justice, (photograph credit The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States) was born in San Francisco, California, August 15, 1938. He married Joanna Hare in 1967, and has three children - Chloe, Nell, and Michael. He received an A.B. from Stanford University, a B.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford, and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School.

Maryland’s 8th Congressional District

Congressman Jamie Raskin is the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. He serves as the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. He served as the Lead House Manager in the second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, which ended with a 57-43 vote to convict the president for inciting a violent insurrection against the government to overthrow the 2020 presidential election. Raskin also served on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S.

Weekend host of All Things Considered and host of the Consider This Saturday podcast

(photo on Michel Martin on front webpage by Bruce Guthrie)

Her biography from NPR website:

Michel Martin is the weekend host of All Things Considered and host of the Consider This Saturday podcast, where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.

Chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup; founder of World Central Kitchen

Twice named to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list and awarded the 2015 National Humanities Medal by President Obama, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, New York Times best-selling author, educator, humanitarian, and chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in America, he is known for his avant-garde cuisine and award-winning group of nearly three dozen restaurants throughout the country and beyond, including two with two Michelin stars: minibar by José Andrés in Washington, D.C., and Somni in Beverly Hills.

CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent

CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper joined the network in January 2013. Tapper currently anchors a one-hour weekday program, The Lead with Jake Tapper, which debuted in March 2013, and has hosted CNN's Sunday morning show, State of the Union, since June 2015.

Host of NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon

SCOTT SIMON is one of America’s most admired writers and broadcasters.  He has reported from all 50 states, five continents, and 10 wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.  He is the host of “NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon,” and Special Contributor for CBS Sunday Morning.

Representing Georgia's 5th District

John Lewis (February 21, 1940 - July 17,2020) was the Representative for Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District, serving since November 1986. Born outside of Troy, Alabama, Lewis was inspired at a young age by the civil rights movement surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In 1961 he volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides and from 1963 to 1966 was Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) which he helped form, organizing sit-ins, bus boycotts and nonviolent protests in the fight for voter and racial equality.

Political Analyst, PBS Newshour and Syndicated Columnist

The Wall Street Journal has called Mark Shields “the wittiest political analyst around” and “frequently the most trenchant, fair-minded, and thoughtful.” The Washington Post has called Shields “a walking almanac of American politics.”

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Graham Holdings Co.

Donald E. Graham became chief executive officer of Graham Holdings Company (then The Washington Post Company) in May 1991 and chairman of the board in September 1993. He was publisher of The Washington Post newspaper from January 1979 until September 2000 and chairman of the paper from September 2000 to February 2008. 

Associate Editor of The Washington Post

Bob Woodward has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter, and is currently an associate editor of the Post. He and Carl Bernstein were the main reporters on the Watergate scandal for which the Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. The scandal led to numerous government investigations that sent 40 people to jail and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Moderator and Managing Editor of Washington Week, co-anchor and co-managing editor for PBS NewsHour

WEN IFILL was moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and co-managing editor for "PBS NewsHour." She wrote the best-selling "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."

Creator of Doonesbury

In a career drawing Doonesbury that began when he was 21 years old, Trudeau has created -- and thrived on -- controversy.  He began ``Bull Tales'' in 1968 as a student at Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture, and the comic strip later turned into Doonesbury.  Comic strips typically didn't veer into politics but Trudeau's characters took them there. In 1975 he won the Pulitzer Prize, the first time the prize was awarded to a comic-strip artist.

Executive Editor and Anchor, PBS NewsHour

Jim Lehrer (May 19, 1934 – January 23, 2020) was one of the longest running news anchors in U.S. television history. Beginning with the MacNeil/Lehrer Report in 1976, Lehrer has continuously anchored the public broadcasting news hour ever since, a span of 35 years. The program was television’s first hour-long newscast. After the retirement of co-anchor Robert MacNeil in 1995 the program was renamed the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Writer, Director, Producer, Playwright and Author

George Stevens, Jr. has achieved an extraordinary creative legacy over a career spanning almost 50 years.  He is a writer, director, producer, playwright and author. He has enriched the film and television arts as a filmmaker and is widely credited with bringing style and taste to the national television events he has conceived, including The Kennedy Center Honors, which took place for the 35th time in 2012.

Broadcast Journalist, Former Anchor for Nightline

Ted Koppel has been called the pre-eminent television interviewer in America. Koppel earned that reputation during nearly a half a century of award winning journalism.

Former Managing Editor and Moderator of Meet the Press

Tim Russert was managing editor and moderator of Meet the Press, the longest running program in the history of television.

Author; Special Correspondent for NBC News

Tom Brokaw was the most widely watched television news anchor in America when he stepped down as anchor of the NBC Nightly News on December 1, 2004.

Associate Justice, Retired Supreme Court of the United States

Sandra Day O'Connor (March 26, 1930 – December 1, 2023) was an American jurist who was the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States. She served as an Associate Justice from 1981 until her retirement from the Court in 2006. O'Connor was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.


Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned after his election to the presidency in November 2008.

Former Executive Editor of The Washington Post

As executive editor of the Post from 1968 to 1991, Ben Bradlee became a national figure during the Presidency of Richard Nixon, when he challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers and oversaw the publication of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's stories documenting the Watergate scandal.