Wire Creator Among MacArthur Genius Grant Winners
22 others get $500K to follow their passions
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 28, 2010 4:26 AM CDT
Updated Sep 28, 2010 7:41 AM CDT
President Barack Obama presents the 2009 National Humanities Medal to Annette Gordon-Reed, who has now won a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The creator of the HBO hit series The Wire and now Treme is among 23 winners of the "genius" grants announced today by the MacArthur Foundation. The awards, granting $100,000 annually for 5 years with absolutely no strings attached, left David Simon with a "vague sense of guilt" for already being amply compensated in an industry that's "a little bit recession proof," he noted, reports MSNBC. But he plans to spend his bucks while working on a history of the CIA and a Yonkers housing desegregation fight, neither of which has the "best commercial outlook," he noted. Other winning scientists and artists Include:

  • Annette Gordon-Reed, 51, of Harvard, author of award-winning history The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, which recounts Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his common-law black wife.
  • John Dabiri, 30 (the youngest recipient), of Cal Tech, who studyies the hydrodynamics of jellyfish propulsion.
  • UC-San Diego Professor Carol Padden 55, the first deaf recipient, studies the evolution of sign language.
  • Jason Moran, 35, an experimental jazz pianist.
  • Kelly Benoit-Bird, 34, an Oregon State University marine biologist, researches sea creatures using acoustic engineering technology. For the rest of the winners, check here.