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April 9, 2012

The Joseph Wood Krutch Medal

The HSUS's highest honor has been bestowed on exceptional advocates since 1970

  • Joseph Wood Krutch at Langnerlane Farm in Connecticut. Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, used with permission of the Van Vechten Trust.

  • The Joseph Wood Krutch Medal.

The Humane Society of the United States awards the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal to individuals who have made a significant contribution toward the improvement of life and the environment, or distinguished themselves through service to The HSUS.

A celebrated American educator, journalist and naturalist, Joseph Wood Krutch spent his last years defending nature and animals, and in 1968, he received The HSUS’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. In 1970, The HSUS renamed the award in Krutch’s honor, and in 1971 it commissioned the striking of the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal, designed by the renowned medal sculptor Ralph J. Menconi.

The Joseph Wood Krutch Medal is The HSUS’s highest honor. Krutch’s life epitomized the same commitment to celebrating animals and preventing cruelty that have motivated The HSUS since its founding in 1954. It is fitting that his dedication to animals and nature be remembered by an award that honors individuals who have devoted themselves to extending Krutch’s legacy.

Joseph Wood Krutch Medalists

1971 – Mrs. Joseph Wood Krutch
1971 – Joy Adamson
1972 – Velma Johnston
1973 – Dr. Roger Tory Peterson
1974 – John Macfarlane
1975 – Dr. Victor Scheffer
1976 – Dr. Loren Eiseley
1976 – Robert J. Chenoweth
1977 – Mel L. Morse
1977 – Roger Caras
1978 – Dr. Richard Knowles Morris
1979 – Coleman Burke
1979 – Fred Myers
1980 – Margaret Owings
1981 – Hope Ryden
1982 – Paul Winter
1983 – Charlotte Baker Montgomery
1984 – Dr. Dian Fossey
1985 – Dr. Amy Freeman Lee
1985 – Max Schnapp
1986 – J.A. Wight (James Herriot)
1987 – Dr. Tom Regan
1988 – Dr. Jane Goodall
1989 – Dr. Roger Payne
1990 – Astrid Lindgren
1990 – Denis Hayes
1991 – Russell E. Train
1992 – John C. Walsh
1993 – Drs. Delia and Mark Owens
1994 – Henry Spira
1994 – K. William Wiseman
1995 – David C. Phillips
1996 – John A. Hoyt
1997 – Scott McVay
1999 – Christine Stevens
2001 – Temple Grandin
2002 – Richard Leakey
2004 – Paul G. Irwin
2004 – Angel Harvey
2006 – O.J. Ramsey
2008 – Robert C. Byrd
2008 – Tom Lantos
2012 – Anita W. Coupe
2012 – Dr. David O. Wiebers

Humanitarian of the Year Award

Between 1960 and 1970, The HSUS’s highest honor was its Humanitarian of the Year Award, presented at its annual conference. The award was given to outstanding leaders in national and global humane work “who have devoted time and effort to major programs of humane endeavor and who with courage and dedication have developed new and successful approaches to animal welfare problems.” The recipients named below were among the most important supporters of The HSUS during the first years of its existence.

1960 – Alice Morgan Wright
1961 – Alice M. Wagner
1963 – Elsie Seeger Barton
1964 – Aida Flemming
1965 – Luella Jeffery
1966 – Fay Brisk
1967 – Virginia Milliken
1968 – Joseph Wood Krutch
1969 – Elsa Voss
1970 – George R. Farnum

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