Since 1997, The News & Observer has recognized North Carolinians who have made lasting and significant contributions to the Tar Heel state in the last year and beyond. Honorees have come from all over North Carolina and from different sectors of the community including the arts, business, philanthropy, education and science.
Past winners include John Hope Franklin (1998), Kay Yow (2002) and Betsy Bennett (2011), who were recognized for how they inspired and made a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens. You can see all 25 of the past winners at the bottom of this page.
A new approach
The News & Observer has traditionally chosen the Tar Heel of the Year based on internal submissions and discussions within the publishing company.
Starting this year, in addition to taking staff nominations, we want to open up the nomination process to you, the community we serve. We understand the importance of your input and would like you to share with us the heroes you interact with every day. Tell us who they are and how their impact has been felt across the state.
We will announce five finalists later this fall, and this year’s honoree will be announced in late December.
Here’s how to nominate a Tar Heel of the Year:
▪ Be specific as to why the person is being nominated.
▪ Nominees do not have to be native North Carolinians; it’s OK if they were born outside the state but they must reside here now.
▪ Nominees can come from any field and be any age.
▪ Nominations are open to the public. Final selections will made by N&O staff members.
▪ Deadline for nominations is Friday, Oct. 12, at 5 p.m.
We’re excited to have you be part of this process. Once you make your submission, post on social media who you’ve nominated and use the hashtag #NandOTarHeel. We want everyone to join in and you can help us do that.
Make your nomination below: