Peggy Noonan to Deliver Keynote at Al Smith Dinner Oct. 20


Peggy Noonan, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, will deliver the keynote address at the 77th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. 

Peter T. Grauer, chairman of the board of directors of Bloomberg LLP, will receive the “Happy Warrior Award” at the dinner. Rosanna Scotto, award-winning journalist and co-host of Good Day New York on WNYW-FOX 5 News, will serve as the evening’s mistress of ceremonies.

Cardinal Dolan hosts the dinner, along with Mary Callahan Erdoes, the foundation’s vice chair who is CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset and Wealth Management.

Ms. Noonan received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2017 for her coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign. She was a primary speechwriter and special assistant to President Reagan from 1984 to 1986 and is a best-selling author and columnist. 

Grauer, chairman of the global financial technology company, has been a member of the Bloomberg board of directors since 1996 and was named chairman in 2001, succeeding Michael R. Bloomberg. Grauer also serves as president of the board of trustees of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition assistance to inner-city Catholic school students.

The Smith Foundation provides yearly financial support to nonprofit organizations throughout the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York that work with children who are impoverished, neglected, abused, emotionally troubled or physically handicapped. 

The cost of the dinner is underwritten by the members of the Smith Foundation board, so that all of the dinner’s proceeds directly benefit the neediest children of New York.

Alfred Emmanuel Smith, the dinner’s namesake, was a four-time governor of the State of New York, and in 1928 became the nation’s first Catholic presidential nominee. He was dubbed “The Happy Warrior” for his passionate work on behalf of the poor and working class people, but always with a smile and without animosity for his political opponents. 

The dinner begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m.