Harvard Professor and author Annette Gordon-Reed, 51, whose book “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” (W. W. Norton) won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History and the 2008 National Book Award for nonfiction, is among the 23 recipients of the $500,000 “genius awards” to be announced on Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Ms. Gordon-Reed investigated the story of the slave family that included Sally Hemings, a slave owned by Jefferson who scholars widely believe bore his children. A New Yorker, Ms. Gordon-Reed teaches law and history at Harvard. Some of her grant will go toward travel expenses as she researches another book on the Hemings, she said.
Twelve men and 11 women, ranging in age from 30 to 72, were named MacArthur fellows this year. All will receive $100,000 a year for five years, no strings attached. Since the inception of the program in 1981 and including this year’s fellows, 828 people, ranging in age from 18 to 82 at the time of their selection, have been named.
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