Sir Martin Gilbert wins prestigious Israeli prize

Sir Martin Gilbert

Sir Martin Gilbert

The British historian Sir Martin Gilbert has won a prestigious Israeli prize honouring achievements of outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact.

Sir Martin, the official biographer of Winston Churchill and the author of 80 studies including of Israeli and Jewish history, was named as the recipient of the $1 million Dan David prize earlier today.

The prize, named after philanthropist Dan David and administered from Tel Aviv University, celebrates the work of individuals or groups in three categories, past, present and future.

Sir Martin shares the prize in the "past" category with the British academic Robert Conquest, a distinguished scholar and expert on soviet history.

The prize for "present" was won by the South African artist William Kentridge, while scientists David Botstein, Eric Lander and J Craig Venter were given the honour for "future" for their efforts in genome research.

Sir Martin, 75, joins a list of recipients that includes filmmaking duo the Coen Brothers, politicians Tony Blair and Al Gore, playwright Tom Stoppard and author Margaret Atwood.

He will be given the prize at a ceremony in Israel in June.

Last updated: 5:14pm, March 1 2012