The Saint Nicholas Society Medal of Merit

The Saint Nicholas Society is unique in that unlike other patriotic societies in New York, it was founded with the definite purpose of maintaining the traditions and furthering the development of the City of New York itself. With this in mind, it was proposed in 1934 that the Saint Nicholas Society award a medal annually to a person who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee, should have contributed significantly to bettering the welfare of the City.

Owing to the severity of the depression, however, no action was taken in the matter until 1937… Meanwhile, designs for the medal were drawn up by various jewelers and silversmiths, and Tiffany & Co. was authorized to cast the medal.

Excepted from Charter, Constitution, By-Laws and List of Members of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York, 1938

The Saint Nicholas Society’s Medal of Merit has been awarded to the following distinguished individuals:

1937 The Hon. Robert Moses

1938 The Hon. Thomas E. Dewey

1939 Archer M. Huntington

1940 The Hon. Winthrop W. Aldrich

1941 William Church Osborn

1942 Col. Arthur V. McDermott, USA

1943 Lt. Gen. Hugh A. Drum, USA

1944 The Hon. Lee Thompson Smith

1945 The Hon. Fiorello H. LaGuardia

1946 The Hon. Herbert L. Satterlee

1947 John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

1948 The Hon. George McAneny

1949 Judge Learned Hand

1950 Fairfield Osborn

1951 The Hon. Frank S. Hogan

1952 Howard S. Cullman

1953 Frederick H. Ecker

1954 Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.

1955 Clarence G. Michalis

1956 David Rockefeller

1957 The Hon. Myron C. Taylor

1958 Jeremiah Milbank

1959 Robert W. Dowling

1960 Cleveland E. Dodge

1961 Lee Blair Wood

1962 The Hon. J. Edward Lumbard

1963 James J. Rorimer

1964 Michael J. Murphy

1965 Whitney North Seymour

1966 Reginald T. Townsend

1967 James McNaughton Hester

1968 The Hon. John V. Lindsay

1969 Hoyt Ammidon

1970 The Hon. Bernard Botein

1971 Helen Hayes

1972 The Rt. Rev. Horace W. B. Donegan

1973 Joseph Papp

1974 The Hon. Francis T. P. Plimpton

1975 The Hon. C. Douglas Dillon

1976 Dr. William McGill

1977 John D. DeButts

1978 Thomas A. Murphy

1979 Walter Hoving

1980 Vincent Sardi

1981 The Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

1982 Dr. Henry A. Kissinger

1983 James Levine

1984 The Hon. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick

1985 Washington Irving (posthumous)

1986 Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

1987 Brooke Astor

1988 Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

1989 Hugh Bullock

1990 The Rev. Dr. David H. C. Read

1991 Daniel P. Davison

1992 The Rev. C. Hugh Hildesley

1993 Walter Cronkite

1995 John Elliott, Jr.

1996 Kenneth T. Jackson

1997 The Rev. Dr. Thomas F. Pike

1998 Henry Luce III

1999 Schuyler G. Chapin

2000 Henry J. Stern

2001 Damian van Cleef (Presented 2021)

2002 Eleanor Thomas Elliott

2003 William F. Baker

2004 Vartan Gregorian

2005 Marian S. Heiskell

2006 The Hon. William J. vanden Heuvel

2007 E. L. Doctorow

2008 Hope Bryce Preminger

2009 John L. Loeb, Jr.

2010 The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper

2012 The Hon. Thomas H. Kean

2013 Philippe de Montebello

2014 Gregory Long

2015 Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

2016 Louise Mirrer

2017 Casey R. Kemper

2018 Adele Chatfield-Taylor

2019 Ian Wardropper

2020 The Hon. Jamie D. McCourt

2021 Edmund W. Gordon Jr.

2022 Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  

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