Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Estates of gay couple to endow richest prizes in American letters; Donald Windham—Sandy M. Campbell prizes will award 7-9 $150K grants annually

Windham (l), Campbell, 1955. Photo: Carl Van Vechten
Yale University will administer the awards, which dwarf the purses of the Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Awards, each worth $10,000.

Mr. Windham, who did not attend college, specifically requested that writers with no academic affiliation be considered.

The New York Times dutifully noted the surprise of their friends at the size of Mr. Windham's and Mr. Campbell's endowments:
Mr. Windham and Sandy Campbell, his companion of 45 years, were a well-known couple in New York’s gay literary circles who lived so unostentatiously that it surprised their friends that Mr. Windham left a bequest sufficient to generate a million dollars in prize money every year.
(NYT via Band of Thebes; see bloglist, lower right)

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