AAU Gussie Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award

The Significance

The AAU Gussie Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented annually at the AAU James E. Sullivan Award ceremony, was established to honor Gussie Crawford, voted the first female president of AAU, as a trailblazer in amateur sports. The award is intended to recognize those athletes whose efforts, both on and off their playing surface on the national or international stage, have paved the way for  great change in amateur sports.

Fourth Recipient

The legendary boxer and well-known philanthropist Muhammad Ali was announced as the recipient of the 4th AAU Gussie Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at the Detroit Athletic Club. Khaliah Ali Wertheimer accepted the award virtually on behalf of her father. Special guest Olympic track and Field legend, Jackie Joyner Kersee joined the ceremony virtually.  READ MORE

Third Recipient

Multi-sport star Mildred Ella "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias was announced as the recipient of the 3rd AAU Gussie Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony on April 16 at the New York Athletic Club. W.L. Pate, President of Babe’s Foundation accepted the award on her behalf. READ MORE


Second Recipient

Jim Thorpe, legendary multi-sport athlete took home the honors for his contributions to amateur sports. The award was accepted in a remote video presentation by his son Bill Thorpe and on-site by his reat-grandson and great-great grandson at a ceremony during the presentation of the AAU James E. Sullivan Award Ceremony, April 17, 2018 at the New York Athletic Club. READ MORE | VIEW JIM THORPE VIDEO


Inaugural Recipient

Follow us

Be sure to tag your posts with hashtag #AAUSullivanAward
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter (@TheRealAAU)
Show us some love on Instagram (@AAUSports)
Check out our videos on YouTube

Get in touch

The Award

Known as the "Oscar" of sports awards and older than The Heisman, the AAU Sullivan Award honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. It has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union, and pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. Based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism, the AAU Sullivan Award goes far beyond athletic accomplishments and honors those who have shown strong moral character.


The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports. During its early years, the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level. The philosophy of "Sports for All, Forever," is shared by over 700,000 participants and over 150,000 volunteers.
View Our Mission Statement