Bob Woodruff to Receive Steinbeck Award

Media contact:
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA –Journalist and philanthropist Bob Woodruff will receive the 2017 John Steinbeck Award at an event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Diaz Compean Student Union on the grounds of San Jose State University. Tickets are on sale now ($25 general / $15 SJSU faculty and staff / $10 SJSU student) at the Event Center Box Office (408-924-6333) or at ticketmaster.com.

This marks the first time in 20 years that the Steinbeck Award has been presented to a journalist with experience covering America’s foreign wars. Steinbeck was proud of his reporting on World War II and Vietnam, and like Bob Woodruff, he was an outspoken advocate for veterans.

“It’s an honor to receive an award named for one of America’s greatest storytellers; the fact that John Steinbeck turned his writer’s eye on the ravages and stories of war makes him doubly my hero,” Woodruff said.

In conversation with Dan Ashley

Dan Ashley of ABC7 News will conduct an interview with Bob Woodruff, who will be joined onstage by his wife Lee Woodruff, co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The event is a fundraiser for San Jose State’s new Veterans Resource Center.

While in Iraq as an embedded reporter for ABC’s World News Tonight, Bob Woodruff was seriously injured on Jan. 29, 2006, by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq. A traumatic brain injury nearly killed him.

In a miraculous recovery, just 13 months later, Woodruff returned to ABC News with “To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports.” Since then, he has reported for the network from around the globe, earning a prestigious Peabody Award.

Bob Woodruff Foundation

Together with his wife, Lee, he also runs the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families thrive long after they return home. To date, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has raised over $33 million to support veterans’ causes.

The “In the Souls of the People” John Steinbeck Award is presented by SJSU’s Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies to artists and activists whose works embody the spirit of Steinbeck’s social engagement. Previous recipients of the award include Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, Dolores Huerta, Garrison Keillor, Rachel Maddow, John Mellencamp, Ken Burns and Ruby Bridges.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.