About the Honoree

Highlights of the Night

The American Museum of Fly Fishing honored Tom Brokaw with the museum’s 2015 Heritage Award at the Racquet and Tennis Club in New York City on April 24. The award honors and celebrates individuals and organizations whose commitment to the museum, the sport of fly fishing, and the conservation of our natural resources set standards to which we all should aspire.

Tom Brokaw is an American icon, best known as a television host and author who has won numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor. In addition to being the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News for more than twenty years, Brokaw is also a lifelong angler and a regular on the Outdoor Channel fly-fishing series Buccaneers & Bones. He was an early advocate of conservation initiatives and has supported organizations such as Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, the American Museum of Natural History, and Conservation International.

“Part of the appeal [of fly fishing] to me,” said Brokaw, during his acceptance speech, “is the camaraderie, the common cause that brings us together, the great idea that people can go out on the trout stream, the salmon river, the flats . . . or go to the far corners of the world, and there you are with a fly rod and some kind of imitation fly, and you are in a zone that is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been in my lifetime. Hours go by, and you are surrounded by the most beautiful forms of life—not just in the water, but on top of the water and all around you. And it is, I think, the greatest kind of therapy that you can possibly imagine.”

This successful Heritage Award celebration would not have been possible without the support of Honorary Chair Lefty Kreh and event committee members William E. Andersen, Jane Cooke, Chris Dorsey, George Gibson, Grant Gregory, Lester Holt, Paul Tudor Jones, Karen Kaplan, George Matelich, David Nichols, Thomas R. Pero, Fred Polhemus, Gary Sherman, Richard Tisch, Ted Turner, and Brian Williams. Additionally, many thanks to our guest auctioneer Nick Dawes; master of ceremonies Richard Tisch; and Andie Simon, Tom Brokaw’s daughter, for all of her help preparing for the event and finishing the evening with an interview with her father.

We would also like to thank the Leadership Circle, including Mike Bakwin, Foster Bam and Sallie Baldwin, Dick Beattie, Yvon Chouinard, Peter Clarke, Fitz Coker, Jane Cooke, Chris Dorsey, David Ford, George and Beth Gibson, Alan Gnann, Tim Hixon, Paul Tudor Jones, Karen Kaplan, Leon Martuch, George Matelich, Bruce McNae, Henry Paulson, Leigh and Anne Perkins, Franklin Schurz, Richard Tisch, and Kendrick Wilson. We also appreciate the individuals who supported and donated items for the live and silent auctions: 3-Tand Reels, Above All Vermont, Yoshi Akiyama, Alert Stamping, Stu Apte, Samantha Aronson, Pete Bakwin, Rick Bannerot, the Barrows House, Berkshire Rivers, the Briarcliff, Cheeca Lodge, Chef Michael’s Restaurant, the Clark Art Institute, Robert Cochrane, Mark Comora, Costa Del Mar, Bert Darrow, Robert J. DeMott, Paul Dixon, the Dorset Inn, El Pescador, the Equinox Resort & Spa, the Fly Shop, Flyvines, George Gibson, Jim Head, Holland & Holland, Iron Horse Vineyards, Summerfield Johnston, Sara Low, the Mark Hotel, the Manchester Country Club, Walter Matia, Nick Mayer, Michael Monier, Joe Mustari, Pearl Street Slate Company, Dave Pecci, Jack Pittard, Fred Polhemus, Josh Alexander at ProTravel International, Rio Products, the Ryegrass Ranch Owners Association, Steven Jay Sanford, Sci­entific Angler, Dr. Mark Sherman and Dr. Gary Sherman, Arthur Shilstone, Sierra Grande Lodge, Simms, Skida, South Holston River Lodge, TED Restaurant, Jim Teeny, Steve Thomas, Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Tight Lines Jewelry, Jacques Torres, Urban Angler, the Vermont Kitchen Supply Company, Vermont Paddleboard Outfitters, Vermont Spirits, Paul Volcker, Whistlepig, Ron and Cheryl Wilcox, Wild River Press, and Yellowdog. Several other auction item providers also contributed to the success of this event.


Our favorite shots from the night. Photos by Jack McCoy.

Event Committee

Honorary Chair
Lefty Kreh

  • William E. Andersen
  • Jane Cooke
  • Chris Dorsey
  • George Gibson
  • Grant Gregory
  • Lester Holt
  • Paul Tudor Jones
  • Karen Kaplan
  • George Matelich
  • David Nichols
  • Thomas R. Pero
  • Fred Polhemus
  • Gary Sherman
  • Richard Tisch
  • Ted Turner
  • Brian Williams