Mortimer Spiegelman Award

The Applied Public Health Statistics Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) presents the Mortimer Spiegelman Award annually to honor a statistician below the age of 40 in the calendar year of the award who has made outstanding contributions to health statistics, especially public health statistics. The award was established in 1970 and is presented annually at the APHA meeting. The award serves the following three purposes:

  • To honor the outstanding achievements of both the recipient and Spiegelman
  • To encourage further involvement in public health by the finest young statisticians
  • To increase awareness of APHA and the Applied Public Health Statistics Section in the academic statistical community

The Spiegelman Award recipient must be a health statistician who has made outstanding contributions to statistical methodology and its applications in public health (broadly defined).

The award is open to early career investigators regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or citizenship. Specifically, candidates must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Candidate must be under age 40 throughout the award calendar year; or
  • Candidate must have obtained a terminal degree in statistics or a statistics-related field in the last 10 years.

For those receiving a terminal degree after considerable professional experience, or with extenuating life circumstances such as the birth of a child, the committee will make exceptions to the eligibility requirements. If extenuating circumstances impact the eligibility of your nominee, please include a description in your nominating letter.

Nominations are due by May 1st of the award calendar year. 

A nomination should include the following items:

  1. A nominating letter that states the candidate’s date of birth, and that describes contributions to statistics for public health
  2. Up to three letters of support
  3. The candidate’s detailed CV

Submit your nomination to

About Mortimer Spiegelman

Mortimer Spiegelman (1901-1969) was an actuary, biostatistician, and demographer who made exceptional contributions to public health. His contributions have continued posthumously through the APHA’s Statistics Section’s Mortimer Spiegelman Award. Mr. Spiegelman was a native of Brooklyn, New York. He received a Master’s of Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1923 and a Master’s of Business Administration from Harvard University in1925. He spent 40 years on the staff of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company where he published many articles and volumes that attained national and international recognition. He coauthored with Dublin and Lotka The Money Value of Man and Length of Life, both of which have been standard reference volumes. Although his employment was in an organization that was concerned primarily with actuarial science, his interests were much broader. He published two editions of Introduction to Demography, which has been a standard text in demography. The second edition, in particular, is oriented toward the general demographer and students of public health statistics rather than toward the actuary. He did extensive work on life tables including what he referred to as “segmented generation” mortality. This approach allows one to follow the mortality experience of a given age group over successive 10-year periods as an alternative to analyzing trends in the current mortality.

His major contribution in the fields of public health and epidemiology came toward the end of his career when he conceived of, coordinated, edited, and carried to a successful conclusion the publication of a series of monographs sponsored by the APHA and published by the Harvard University Press. Each monograph pertained to a specific set of diseases, and the 1960 Census was used in a standard way as the denominator for rates of disease. In his role as editor of this series, he used his considerable powers of persuasion with the authors of the monographs to ensure comparability among them and to make certain that the work on each was completed. Sixteen monographs resulted from his efforts, covering a wide range of topics as evidenced by the following titles: Accidents and HomicidesInfectious DiseasesTrends and Variations in Fertility in the U.S.Infant, Perinatal, Maternal, and Childhood MortalityThe Epidemiology of Oral HealthTuberculosis, Syphilis and Other Venereal DiseasesCardiovascular Disease in the U.S.The Frequency of Rheumatic DiseasesDigestive DiseaseMental Disorders and SuicideCancer in the U.S.The Epidemiology of Neurological and Sense Organ DiseasesMortality and Morbidity in the U.S., and Differential Mortality in the U.S. Mr. Spiegelman’s development of the APHA monograph series further illustrates the breadth of his interests.

Mr. Spiegelman was a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and a Fellow of the American Public Health Association. The Spiegelman Award was established in 1970 by his sisters, Anna and Julia Spiegelman, following his death.

Past Winners

1970 — Edward Perrin
1971 — P. A. Lachenbruch
1972 — Manning Feinleib
1973 — Joseph L Fleiss
1974 — Gary G. Koch
1975 — Jane Menken
1976 — A. A. Afifi
1977 — David Hoel
1978 — Ross Prentice
1979 — Mitchell H. Gail
1980 — Norman Breslow
1981 — Robert F. Woolson
1982 — Joel Kleinman
1983 — J. Richard Landis
1984 — Stephen Lagakos
1985 — John Crowley
1986 — Anastasios Tsiatis
1987 — L. J. Wei
1988 — Thomas Fleming
1989 — Colin B. Begg
1990 — Kung-Yee Liang
1991 — Scott L. Zeger
1992 — Ronald S. Brookmeyer
1993 — Martin Abba Tanner
1994 — Louise M. Ryan
1995 — Christopher J. Portier
1996 — Jeremy M. G. Taylor
1997 — Margaret S Pepe
1998 — Peter Bacchetti
1999 — Danyu Lin
2000 — Bradley P. Carlin
2001 — Daniel E. Weeks
2002 — Xihong Lin
2003 — Michael Newton
2004 — Mark van der Laan
2005 — Rebecca Betensky
2006 — Francesca Dominici
2007 — David Dunson
2008 — Hongyu Zhao
2009 — Rafael Irizarry
2010 — Nilanjan Chatterjee
2011 — Sudipto Banerjee
2012 — Amy Herring
2013 — Debashis Ghosh
2014 — Tyler VanderWeele
2015 — John D. Storey
2016 — Roger Peng
2017 — Limin Peng
2018 — Raphael Gottardo
2019 — Daniela Witten
2020 — Jeffrey Leek
2021 — Sherri Rose

Submit your nomination to