Culver & Co give Knapp the “Iowa Award”

Before Governor Chet Culver leaves office on January 14, he will bestow the “Iowa Award” on Bill Knapp, a long-time benefactor of Democratic political campaigns.  Knapp also donated the land for the Iowa Veterans Cemetery along Interstate-80.  Read Culver’s news release below:

Iowa Award will go to Bill Knapp

Longtime Des Moines Realtor and Iowa State Fair Supporter to be honored

DES MOINES – William C. “Bill” Knapp will be the recipient of the “Iowa Award” in a public ceremony in January, the Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation Board announced Friday.
The Iowa Award represents the state’s highest citizen award, established in 1948 by Governor Robert D. Blue and the Iowa Legislature. The award’s purpose is “to encourage and recognize the outstanding service of Iowans in the fields of science, medicine, law, religion, social welfare, education, agriculture, industry, government, and other public service” and to recognize the “merit of their accomplishments in Iowa and throughout the United States.”

The Iowa Award is made approximately every five years and financed through the foundation’s trust fund.  The most recent recipient was artist Grant Wood, who was a posthumous honoree in October 2009.   A list of past recipients appears below.

Knapp is a prominent Des Moines realtor and longtime supporter and patron of the Iowa State Fair.  A brief biography appears below.

The nonpartisan Board consists of all living former Iowa Governors, the Attorney General, the state Treasurer, the President of the Iowa State Board of Education, three public members and one student member.  At Friday’s meeting, Governor Culver also thanked board members for their service during his administration.

Biography of William C. “Bill” Knapp
William C. Knapp is Chairman Emeritus of Knapp Properties, Inc. His title only begins to provide a representation of his legacy in the real estate business and the community of Des Moines.

After two years in the United States Navy and graduating from the American Institute of Business, Bill Knapp founded Iowa Realty in 1952 and gradually built the company into the premier real estate company in Iowa. Knapp Properties, Inc. was formed by Bill Knapp to continue the development and management of his real estate business.

Bill Knapp’s professional accomplishments are equaled by the honors he has received for his various community activities. Among them are the “Humanitarian Award” from the Variety Club of Iowa, the “Distinguished Iowa Citizen Award” from the Mid-Iowa Council-Boy Scouts of America, the “Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser” award from the Central Iowa Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, and the “Citizen of the Year” award for community service and leadership from the Des Moines Real Estate Board.

Iowa Award Recipients

1951- President Herbert Hoover (engineer, humanitarian, author, and U.S. president)
1955- Jay N. Darling (cartoonist, conservationist, Pulitzer Prize winner)
1961- Frank Spedding (educator, chemist, worked on the first atomic bomb)
1961- James Van Allen (educator, physicist, rocket space exploration)
1966- Henry A. Wallace (U.S. secretary of agriculture, vice president of United States)
1970- Mamie Eisenhower (first lady, wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower)
1975- Karl King (composer, bandmaster)
1978- Norman Borlaug (crop geneticist, worked to end hunger, won Nobel Peace Prize)
1980- Monsignor Luigi Liguitti (director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference)
1984- George Gallup (founder of the Gallup Poll)
1988- Meredith Willson (composer, musician)
1992- Carrie Lane Chapman Catt (leader in suffrage movement and for world peace)
1996- Simon Estes (international opera singer)
1999- Maurice Lasansky (artist, educator)
1999- John Atanasoff (physicist, mathematician, educator, inventor, 1st electronic digital computer)
2001- John Ruan (innovative entrepreneur, philanthropist, World Food Prize sponsor)
2002- George Washington Carver (internationally renowned scientist and humanitarian)
2005- Robert D. Ray (governor, statesman, mayor, university president, lawyer, insurance executive)
2006- Harry Hopkins (founder of WPA under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman)
2009 – Grant Wood (Artist)

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.