WASHINGTON, DC - David L. Wolper, the acclaimed executive producer of Roots, the 12-hour mini-series that followed several generations in the lives of a slave family, will receive the NAB Distinguished Service Award during NAB2007 in Las Vegas in April.
During Wolper's 50 years in show business, he has made over 700 films that have won more than 150 awards, including two Oscars, 50 Emmys, 7 Golden Globes and five Peabodys. In addition to Roots, Wolper's collection of work includes The Thorn Birds, North & South, L.A. Confidential, and the 1971 version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
"David Wolper is one of America's most successful and influential television producers." said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr. "His masterpiece mini-series, Roots, is 30 years old this year and is recognized as a seminal event in the history of mass media. We are honored to recognize him for his contributions to broadcasting."
Each year the NAB Distinguished Service Award recognizes broadcasters who have made significant and lasting contributions to the broadcasting industry. Last year's recipients were former NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor Tom Brokaw, former CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Dan Rather, and Peter Jennings, the late ABC World News Tonight anchor and senior editor. Other past recipients include Cokie Roberts, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Hope and Walter Cronkite.
Wolper has received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He also holds the French Legion of Honor, France's highest civilian honor.
In April 1998, TV Guide chose Wolper as one of the 45 People Who Made A Difference in television history, "...a true original whose vision and innovation shaped the medium." As one of television's top creative forces, TV Guide said of Wolper, "His many contributions to broadcast history have embedded themselves in the American psyche."
Wolper's career includes production of the critically acclaimed opening and closing ceremonies for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles; his work as chairman and executive producer of the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty; and acclaimed documentaries on Jacques Cousteau and for National Geographic.
Among his many films are famous books brought to television and motion pictures, including three Pulitzer Prize winning books: Theodore H. White's The Making of the President, 1960; Carl Sandburg's Lincoln; and Alex Haley's Roots. Others include John F. Kennedy's book A Nation of Immigrants, John Jakes' North and South, Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds and Garson Kanin's Moviola.
His theatrical features include The Devils Brigade; The Bridge at Remagen; If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium; This is Elvis; Imagine: John Lennon; Surviving Picasso; the 1971 cult classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; L.A. Confidential and the Academy Award winning documentary film, The Hellstrom Chronicle.
Born in New York City, Mr. Wolper attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and the University of Southern California. Although he did not graduate -- he left school early in 1949, to enter the television business -- both universities have awarded him honorary doctorate degrees.
NAB2007 will take place April 14 - 19, 2007 in Las Vegas (exhibits open April 16). It is the world's largest electronic media show covering the development, delivery and management of professional video and audio content across all mediums. Complete NAB2007 details are available at www.nabshow.com.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.