Jerry Lewis will receive the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Governors Award for his Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.
Academy Chairman Dick Askin said in a release announcing the choice that "Television has few traditions as impactful on the lives of viewers and as strongly ingrained as the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon. This year, he hopes to reach the two billion dollar mark for research programs of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"Jerry's dedication and humanitarian efforts combined with the magnitude and longevity of the public service work he has performed exemplifies everything the Governors Award represents.”
The telethon was launched on a single New York station in 1966. It is now carrried on over 200. Lewis has never missed a telecast despite numerous health problems of his own.
Past winners include individuals Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Lucille Ball, as well as public service campaigns on topics ranging from violence and diversity to AIDS.