Who We Are
The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a 501(c) (3) nonprofit educational organization, was established in 1947 to dispel the mounting belief among our nation’s youth that the American Dream was no longer attainable.
The Association bears the name of the renowned author Horatio Alger, Jr., whose tales of overcoming adversity through unyielding perseverance and basic moral principles captivated the public in the late 19th century. The organization’s founder, Dr. Kenneth Beebe, in close association with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, hoped to inspire individual Americans to reach their highest potential, thereby strengthening American society as a whole. They created the Association to recognize men and women of outstanding achievement as a way to remind Americans of the limitless possibilities that exist through the free-enterprise system.
The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Since 1947, more than 700 distinguished individuals from all walks of life and diverse professional backgrounds have received the Horatio Alger Award and lifetime membership in the Association. There are currently more than 300 living Members, including ten Members from Canada.
Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity and pursue their dreams through higher education. Thanks to their generosity, in 2020 the Association will award more than $20 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada and provide college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $180 million in college scholarships to more than 27,000 deserving students.
In 2009, the Association incorporated the Horatio Alger Association of Canada to provide an opportunity for its Canadian Members to develop scholarship programs for Canadian youth. In light of its rapidly expanding scholarship programs, the Association also established the Horatio Alger Endowment Fund in 2011 as a separate 501(c)(3) in order to endow all of its scholarships in perpetuity. Today, through its Members, the Association continues to educate American and Canadian young people about the economic and personal opportunities afforded them through the two nations’ free-enterprise systems.