The RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature dinner is an annual black-tie event held by the New York Commandery, and recognizes an author "who by his published writings has made a substantial contribution to the preservation of the history and traditions of the United States Navy."
At the beginning of World War II, President Roosevelt appointed Samuel Eliot Morison as the nation's official historian of naval operations during that war. His only restriction was to safeguard information that would endanger national security. He served on eleven different ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific. The result of his work is a unique "shooting history" of 16 extraordinary volumes, the only work of its kind created to date. He was a Pulitzer Prize winning author, a Trumbull Professor of American History Emeritus at Harvard, and a Retired Rear Admiral in the United States Naval Reserve.
Admiral Morison died on 15 May 1976 in Boston.
The credo borne on his gravestone, at his request reads, "Dream dreams, then write them - aye, but live them first.
"And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
I served in the United States Navy.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, US Navy Lieutenant & 35th President of the United States