Philip Roth, a Guggenheim Fellow in Fiction, has made an extraordinary gift to the Foundation. Roth died in 2018, and in a stunning act of generosity, he left the Foundation $1,600,000 to support the Guggenheim Fellowships. He designated a portion of his gift for the Joel Conarroe Fund, which honors his life-long friend, the Foundation’s President Emeritus, and provides funding for Fellows in all the arts. The income from the balance of Roth’s gift will be used to support new Guggenheim Fellows in all areas of creative writing. Roth was a friend of the Foundation for sixty years, regularly alerting us to writers he thought would benefit from a Fellowship. In addition to his bequest, Roth designated 100% of the royalties from all of his books for the benefit of the Foundation.
One of the greatest contemporary American writers, Roth held a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction in 1959, the year he published his first book Goodbye, Columbus, which won the 1960 National Book Award. He again won the National Book Award in 1995, for Sabbath’s Theater, and the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for American Pastoral. He also won two National Book Critics Circle awards, three PEN/Faulkner Awards, and the Man Booker International Prize.