Who We Are
The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty, and determination can conquer all obstacles.
The Horatio Alger Association was established in 1947, following the Great Depression and the Second World War, to reinforce belief in the American Dream and promote the merits of private enterprise. It 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 individuals of exceptional achievement as a way to remind Americans of the greatness that can be accomplished in our country regardless of one’s circumstances or background.
Honoring Perseverance, Integrity & Excellence
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. These remarkable individuals personify the American Dream and serve as role models for young people. Since 1947, more than 750 distinguished individuals from all walks of life and diverse professional backgrounds have received the Horatio Alger Award. There are currently more than 300 living Horatio Alger Members.
Ensuring the American Dream for Future Generations
Thanks to the generosity of its Members and supporters, the Association provides promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome their adversities and pursue their dreams through higher education. Since the establishment of its scholarship programs in 1984, the Association has awarded $245 million in undergraduate, career and technical education, and graduate need-based scholarships to more that 35,000 students. Horatio Alger Scholars also have access to academic, personal and wellness, and professional services that enable them to overcome their challenges, complete higher education, and launch successful careers.
Promoting the American Dream & Inspiring Achievement
The Association is committed to raising awareness about the power and promise of the American Dream and the boundless opportunities for success within the American free-enterprise system. Through its educational programs and a comprehensive public outreach campaign, the Association empowers young people and inspires them to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact on their communities. By showcasing real-life stories of individuals who have overcome adversity to achieve the American Dream, the Association aspires to instill hope, resilience, and a belief in the transformative power of hard work and determination.
In 2009, the Horatio Alger Association of Canada was created to provide an opportunity for its Canadian Members to provide scholarships and support services to Canadian youth, and promote the Association’s values in Canada. 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.