History: Established in 1979 by the Van Biesbroeck Award, Inc., as an Arizona area award. Beginning in 1988, individuals from throughout the United States were eligible. The AAS assumed responsibility for the Prize from June 1997.
Members: The Prize Committee has nine members, including the Chair. No member of the Committee may receive the Prize during his or her tenure on the Committee.
Term: The staggered terms on the Committee are of three years duration, from annual business meeting to annual business meeting.
Chair: The Chair has a one year term, and is chosen from one of the three senior members on the Committee.
About the Prize: The prize normally will be awarded annually to a living individual for long-term extraordinary or unselfish service to astronomy, often beyond the requirements of his or her paid position.