2017 Friends of the Dallas Public Library Gala
Jonathan Eig, best-selling writer and author of a forthcoming biography of Muhammad Ali, will be the featured speaker at the Friends of the Dallas Public Library annual gala. Eig, a former Dallas Morning News reporter who lives in Chicago, has written acclaimed biographies of Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson and Al Capone, as well as The Birth of the Pill, a fascinating saga of science, social attitudes and birth control.
The gala will also honor Nancy A. Nasher, NorthPark Center owner, with the May Dickson Exall Award for outstanding contributions to the Dallas libraries and literacy. Ms. Nasher spearheaded the opening of Bookmarks, the first public library branch for children in a commercial retail establishment in the United States, at NorthPark in 2008. Since then more than 1 million visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy the library and its wide variety of programs focused on promoting early literacy. May Dickson Exall, a native Texan and longtime civic leader, spearheaded the campaign to open Dallas’ first public library in 1899. As the library’s first president, she hosted art exhibitions in the library, which led to the establishment of the Dallas Museum of Art. Ms. Exall died in 1936.
The annual banquet benefits Friends of the Dallas Public Library, the nonprofit organization that raises financial support and advocates for the city’s 29 libraries and their educational programs.