1985 Albert Lasker Public Service Award

Advocacy for medical research

Since 1955, Eppie Lederer, known as Ann Landers, has written the most respected human relations column in the history of journalism. Her column has 85 million readers in more than 1000 newspapers around the world. She reaches more people in a single day than any doctor can reach in a lifetime.

On matters of personal relationships, Ann Landers speaks with common sense and good humor. On questions of health, she consults medical experts and translates technical information into clear and cogent prose.

In 1971, Ann Landers's eloquent plea to the American people to support the National Cancer Act generated an unprecedented flood of letters and telegrams to Senator and Congressman. She told her readers to write—and write they did. Never in the history of Congress has so much mail been received on a single subject, including the war in Vietnam. In 1971, the National Cancer Act became law. This legislation made available $100 million in federal funds to fight cancer.

Ann Landers's daily columns reflect an extraordinary overview of human entanglements. Her replies get to the heart of the problem with an economy of words. Dr. Robert Ebert, former Dean of the Harvard Medical School, said, "Ann Landers runs the most effective referral service in the country." This accolade is richly deserved. A single mention in her column resulted in over 400,000 requests for a booklet from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Ann Landers alerts her readers to the help available from organizations such as the American Medical Association, Planned Parenthood, the Heart and Lung Association, the National Institutes of Health, the American Psychiatric Association, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the American Cancer Society, and many others. She has educated millions through her column and speaking engagements about Alzheimer's disease, depression, alcoholism, AIDS, Huntington's disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and stroke, and continues to win the gratitude and admiration of everyone from Presidents to grandchildren.

To Ann Landers—Eppie Lederer—for 30 years of tireless commitment to improve the physical and emotional health of the American people, and for her unique ability to relate to individuals on every intellectual, economic and social level, this 1985 Albert Lasker Public Service Award is given.