Office of Public Information and Communications Columbia University New York, N.Y. 10027 (212) 854-5573
Columnist Robert M. Lipsyte of The New York Times today was awarded the 1996 Mike Berger Award for his columns on life in New York City.
He received $1,000 in the 36th annual competition administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Dean Joan Konner presented the award at 10 A.M. ceremonies in the school.
Mr. Lipsyte's column, titled "Coping," appear Sundays in The Times' City Section and often tell stories of the personal daily frustrations with which New Yorkers struggle and come to terms. Examples of his work during 1995 include profiles of a doorman who had once had a better life, a woman caring for her incapacitated husband and teachers with goals in a Queens junior high school.
The award is named for the legendary Times reporter whose stories reflected his affection for the city and its people. It was created in 1960, a year after Mr. Berger's death, by Louis Schweitzer, a New York industrialist and admirer of his writing. Honoring "distinguished reporting in the Mike Berger tradition," it has been supported since 1971 by Mr. Schweitzer's widow, Lucille Lortel Schweitzer, a theatrical producer.
This is Mr. Lipsyte's second Berger award. He won the first in 1966 when he was a sportswriter for The Times, his first reporting job after graduating from Columbia College in 1957 and the Columbia Journalism School in 1959. He left the newspaper in 1971 and was a network television news correspondent for CBS and NBC for six years. He was host of the PBS public affairs program "The Eleventh Hour" before returning to The Times in 1991 to write a weekly sports column. The "Coping" column was added to his duties in 1993. He is the author of several non-fiction books and a novel, "The Brave" (1991, Harpercollins).