Ms. Hobson spoke very movingly about growing up in Illinois

On April 28th, the Lincoln Presidential Foundation presented Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, with its prestigious Lincoln Leadership Prize, for her dedication and leadership in the areas of corporate leadership, financial literacy and diversity. The award was presented by internationally acclaimed musician Wynton Marsalis. Ms. Hobson is an established leader not only at Ariel Investments but as the Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation, a director of JPMorgan Chase, and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ariel Investment Trust. Previously, Ms. Hobson served as Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks Animation and a board member of the Estée Lauder Companies.

In her acceptance speech, Ms. Hobson spoke very movingly about growing up in Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln is especially venerated, learning about him when she was a child and then growing up with a more nuanced understanding of his legacy and his times. She was introduced by her longtime close friend, Mr. Marsalis, who was as graceful with his words as he is with his music. And then he serenaded her to the stage with “When the Saints Go Marching In.” She also had recorded greetings from Michelle Obama, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Rubenstein (who said it was annoying how perfect she was), Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, and more, all who spoke of her dedication, insight, integrity, and wisdom. publisher Chaz Ebert was a gracious and elegant host of the event, delivering a beautiful tribute to Josephine Minow, board member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and mother of our site’s Contributing Editor Nell Minow, which included a personal note thanking Mrs Minow for pushing Marshall Field’s to hire Black models, opening up an opportunity for the late Dori Wilson, one of Chaz’s friends and a fixture in Chicago philanthropy.

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