David Rubenstein, a cofounder of the Carlyle Group and a major donor to the Library of Congress, will contribute $1.5 million to fund three new Library of Congress annual literacy awards over five years. The trio of annual awards will include the David M. Rubenstein Prize for a groundbreaking contribution to the sustained advancement of literacy by any individual or entity worldwide; the American Prize, honoring a project developed and deployed in the U.S. during the preceding decade with special emphasis on combating aliteracy; and the International Prize, which would honor the outstanding work of an individual, a nation or a non-governmental organization (NGO) working in a specific country or region.

“Reading has been a powerful force in my life and is a major contributor to my success,” said Rubenstein. “The public library my parents urged me to investigate as a child turned into a limitless source of information and amazement. For me, it opened a door to the universe. Considering that the Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, it’s an apt place to launch this series of literacy awards.”