Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has been named as the chairman of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize committee by the family that sponsors the prize. He will head a seven member jury of experts from around the globe. Tom Pritzker, executive chairman of the Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp, stated:
“His devotion to civic-minded architecture underscores the mission of the prize and his unparalleled ability to guide a group deliberation is essential in creating a unified voice within this diverse and internal panel of jurors.”
The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honor a living architect or those architects who have distinguished themselves through work that displays commitment, talent and vision in architecture. The award was founded in 1979 by Jay and Cindy Pritzker and is funded by the Pritzker family, with the Hyatt Foundation serving as a corporate sponsor. It is most often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Architecture and has a steadfast reputation for recognizing architects irrespective of race, nationality or ideology. Some of the most notable architects who have received the coveted award include Frank Gehry and I.M. Pei.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was born in San Francisco in 1938 and attended Harvard Law School, where he joined the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude in 1964. He went on to teach as Harvard Law for over two decades. He subsequently served as an assistant prosecutor during the Watergate hearings and was sworn in to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Justice Breyer has never studied architecture, but has a long-standing devotion and interest in the field. In 1999, he was one of the two judges who served as advisors to the architects of the federal courthouse in Boston which opened in 1999. He has been a distinguished member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury since 2011.
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