WASHINGTON DC - Hortio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Rob Lowe, film and television actor, producer, writer and director and New York Times best-selling author, has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization.
Lowe joins 11 other esteemed business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2018 honors. For more than 70 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon admired leaders who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their local communities.
Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, and raised in Dayton, Ohio, eight-year-old Rob Lowe dreamed of being an actor. Throughout a tumultuous childhood, he focused on his goal despite his young age, appearing in many productions throughout the mid-west. In 1976, following his mother's second divorce, the family moved to Malibu, California, where Lowe began to work professionally.
By the age of 15, he was starring on network television in ABC's A New Kind of Family. By the 1980s, Lowe was an international icon, a member of the "Brat Pack," and the star of seminal youth films of that era. The Outsiders, St. Elmo's Fire, and About Last Night are movies that remain classics. In the 1990s, Lowe transitioned into comedy, memorably hosting SNL three times and starring in smash movies, Wayne's World, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Tommy Boy. In 1999, Lowe began a remarkable streak of starring in a television series every season for the last eighteen years!
Lowe has starred in numerous memorable projects. In addition to his leading role as "Sam Seaborn" in the acclaimed drama, The West Wing, which earned 51 Emmy nominations, he has starred in Brothers and Sisters and Parks and Recreation, as well as Killing Kennedy and Behind the Candelabra. He has written two New York Times best-selling memoirs, Stories I Only Tell My Friends and Love Life. In honor of his four-decade career, Lowe received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015. He recently wrapped his second season on the CBS medical drama, Code Black, and is currently directing and starring in a remake of the four-time Academy Award nominated The Bad Seed.
"Rob has been an outstanding supporter and friend of the Horatio Alger Association for many years," said Matthew Rose, president, Horatio Alger Association and 2013 Horatio Alger Award recipient. "He has already done so much to not only further our mission and widen our reach, but to elevate our scholarship programs. It is our distinct honor to officially induct him as a lifetime Member as we are certain that he will continue to serve as a source of inspiration for the Association's Scholars."
Lowe has worked passionately in the area of drug and alcohol recovery, being sober himself since 1990. His mother died of breast cancer in 2005 and Lowe became the first male spokesperson for Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Since then, he has traveled across the country advocating for education and funding.
Lowe remains active in the philanthropic space. In 2006, he founded the Homeowners Defense Fund, a land-use advocacy group, and he is also a founding member of the Dream Foundation, providing end-of-life dreams to terminally ill adults and their families. Lowe also remains a supporter of The Elton John Pediatric AIDS Foundation and White Hearts, a fundraising website that matches wounded veterans with the best prosthetic limbs; as well as Best Buddies. Lowe has been married to designer, Sheryl Lowe, since 1991. They have two sons, Matthew and Johnowen, who attend Loyola Law School and Stanford University, respectively.
"Throughout my personal and professional life, I've been lucky enough to have strong, supportive mentors to encourage and guide me," said Lowe. "I understand that many Horatio Alger Scholars must deal with extremely difficult situations on their own. Their resilience, determination and strength inspire me and I hope that through my work with the Association, I can support these students as they navigate life's challenges. I look forward to meeting many of the Scholars this spring, and to witnessing all that they will accomplish in the future."
Through its Members, Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. To further this mission, the organization awards scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced significant adversities, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming their challenges. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $125 million to students in need, all of which has been funded solely through the generosity of Association Members and friends.
Lowe and the Member Class of 2018 will be formally inducted into the Association on April 5-7, 2018, during the Association's 71st Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The annual three-day event honors the achievements of both Members and National Scholars, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and interact, exchanging stories of hardships and triumphs.