Crunching the numbers on the Kennedy Center Honors

In honor of the Kennedy Center Honors, and also in honor of honor-themed wordplay, we decided to take a closer look at some facts and figures regarding the presitigous arts award. This year’s Honorees — David Letterman, Buddy Guy, Led Zeppelin, Dustin Hoffman and Natalia Makarova — will join the ranks of those who not only get to sit in a box at the Kennedy Center next to the president and the first lady, but also get to bring home an award that looks like a rainbow-ribboned Olympic medal. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at 35 years of the Kennedy Center Honors:

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Total number of male honorees in the history of the honors: 133

Total number of female honorees: 52

Number of years in which only one woman was an honoree: 20

Total number of African American honorees in the history of the honors: 39

Number of honorees who received the honors on their birthday: 1 (Dave Brubeck, who turned 89 the night of the ceremony)

Number of Dave Brubeck’s sons who sang “Happy Birthday” to him at the Kennedy Center Honors: 3

Number of siblings to win together: 2 (Fayard and Harold Nicholas, brothers and tap dancers, were inducted in 1991)

Number of married couples to be honored in the same year: 3 (Hume Cronin and Jessica Tandy were honored in 1986; Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward followed suit in 1992; Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee received honors in 2004)

Age of oldest honoree at the time of their Kennedy Center Honors performance: 95 (George Abbott was just five years shy of a century when he was honored in 1982)

Highest number of honorees for a single state: 39 (New York)

Number of honorees from foreign countries: 45

Number of honorees from the District: 3 (Edward Albee, Helen Hayes and Chita Rivera)

Number of honorees who have ever spoken to an invisible Obama at the Republican National Convention: 1 (Clint Eastwood received the Honors in 2000)

The Kennedy Center Honors Gala

will be on Dec. 2. Footage will air Dec. 26 at 9 p.m. on CBS.

 
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