Henry Louis Gates

Harvard University
Language and literary scholar; Educator
Humanities and Arts
Literature and Language Studies
Member Since

Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Gates is also an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder. Gates has written 17 books and created 14 documentary films. Having written for such leading publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Time, Gates is editor-in-chief of, a daily online magazine, while overseeing the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field. The recipient of fifty-five honorary degrees and numerous prizes, Professor Gates was a member of the first class awarded “genius grants” by the MacArthur Foundation in 1981, and in 1998, he became the first African American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal. He serves on a wide array of boards, including the New York Public Library, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Aspen Institute, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Library of America, and the Brookings Institution.

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