Author Jamaica Kincaid is among the Dan David Prize winners this year. (photo from TAU via Ashernet)
Tel Aviv University (TAU) has announced the winners of this year’s Dan David Prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony at TAU on May 21. Sometimes referred to as “Israel’s Nobel Prize,” this year’s recipients are Swedish biologist Prof. Svante Pääbo, American geneticist Prof. David Reich, American author Jamaica Kincaid, Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua, American astrophysicists Prof. Neil Gehrels and Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni, and Polish astronomer and astrophysicist Prof. Andrzej Udalski.
The prize is named after the late Dan David, an international businessman and philanthropist.
Born in Romania in 1929, David worked for Romanian TV and later became a press photographer. In 1960, he settled in Israel. A year later, he traveled to Europe. With a loan from a cousin, he won the franchise for the Photo-Me automated photography booths in certain countries, and opened branches in several European countries, as well as in Israel, and eventually took over the company.
In 2000, he founded the Dan David Foundation with a $100 million endowment. The first time the annual prize was awarded was in 2002. David’s aim was to reward those who have made a lasting impact on society and to help young students and entrepreneurs become the leaders and scholars of the future.
David died in London, England, in September 2011.