A Legend In His/Her Own Time

In 1996, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, created a special award to be given to men and women for excellence in literature, journalism, music, art, and community service, or philanthropy. The award is given to men and women who qualify as legends in their own time.

Rosemary James, Co-Founder of the Faulkner Society, took the name from one of her former journalistic colleagues, the late Jack Dempsey, a legendary police reporter for the old New Orleans afternoon newspaper, The States-Item. Dempsey sent his police report columns from police headquarters by teletype. He always signed his dispatches:

A Legend In His Own Time.

The awards are given annually in memory of Jack Dempsey, other memorable guys and dolls of reporting, and the great 20th Century heyday of journalism. There is no specified number of awardees each year, although at least one award for Literature always is given.

The first ALIHOT Award for Literature was presented to Mississippi author Eudora Welty for her impressive body of fiction and non-fiction. That same year, ALIHOT Awards were presented to Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin for Philanthropy in the Arts and
to artist Wade Welch for cartoon satire. Other awards have been made as follows:



  • Patty Friedmann, Fiction
  • Tim Gautreaux, Fiction
  • Adam Johnson, Fiction
  • Stewart O’Nan, Fiction
  • Reza Aslan, Non-Fiction
  • Walter Isaacson, Non-Fiction


  • Yuri Herrera, Fiction
  • Nancy Isenberg, History
  • Christina Vella, Biography


  • Bret Lott, Literature
  • Elise Blackwell, Fiction
  • Bill Loehfelm, Fiction
  • John Pope, Essay
  • Sybil Morial, Memoir


  • Moira Crone, Fiction
  • Darrell Bourque, Poetry
  • Luis Alberto Urrea, Literature
  • Stanley Crouch, Music Criticism
  • Randy Fertel, Philanthropy








  • Matthew Bruccoli, Biography
  • Marie Arana, Michael Dirda, Jonathan Yardley, Literary Criticism
  • Josephine Sacabo, Art Photography
  • Nancy Moss, Contributions to the Arts


  • Shirley Ann Grau, Literature
  • Michael White, Music
  • John Besh, Culinary Arts
  • Thomas Neff, Art Photography
  • Bertie Deming Smith, Philanthropy


  • Katrina, no awards presented


  • Robert Olen Butler, Literature
  • Stanley Crouch & Irvin Mayfield, Words & Music: The Wild Palms Suite
  • Dow Mossman, Mark Moskowitz, Documentary Cinema
  • Gérard Lange, Art Photography
  • H. Paul St. Martin, Michael X. St. Martin, Philanthropy


  • Valerie Martin, Literature
  • Herman Leonard, Raymond Meeks, Art Photography
  • Ellis Marsalis, Music: Jazz
  • William Farlowe, Philanthropy


  • Elizabeth Spencer, Literature
  • C.D. Wright, Poetry
  • Deborah Luster: Art Photography
  • Earl King, Music: Blues
  • Leah Chase, Culinary Arts, Civic Service


  • Dalt Wonk, Drama
  • Susan Spicer, Culinary Arts
  • Dan Ragland, Photographic Art
  • Freda Lupin, Contributions to the Arts



  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Poetry
  • Iris Kelso, Don Lee Keith, Journalism
  • Thomas C. Keller, Philanthropy


  • Fredrick Barton & Jay Weigel, Words & Music, A House Divided
  • Lolita Davidovich, Ron Shelton, Performance Art
  • Sandra Russell Clark, Art Photography
  • Dorothy Crosby & Lynn Crosby Gammill, Philanthropy


  • Shelby Foote, Literature
  • Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Poetry
  • Delta Burke & Gerald McRaney, Performance Art
  • Odetta, Music
  • Lyle Bonge, Art Photography
  • Ian Arnoff, Eamon Kelly, Philanthropy

For more information about ALIHOT winners, read the latest Double Dealers!