The Louisville Historical League was founded in 1972 by Rev. Clyde Crews & Allan Steinberg. Rev. Crews was a professor at Bellarmine University and has written numerous books on local history. Allan was a guidance counselor at Jefferson Community College (JCTC) as well as an Alderman with the old City of Louisville. He was also with the American Printing House for the Blind.
The first Founders Award was presented in 1990 to Sister Mary Michael Creamer, who was a Sister of Charity of Nazareth, and a native of Boston, MA. She served on the LHL Board for many years. She taught history at Spalding University and was also the archivist there. She authored articles for the Filson Quarterly. She died on October 12, 1991 and is buried at Nazareth, Ky.
2018 Carl Kramer, noted historian and author of numerous books and articles on local history
2017 Gary Falk, longtime LHL Board member and author of numerous local history books
2016 Nathalie Andrews, Executive Director of the Portland Museum
2015 Kadie Engstrom, river / steamboat historian
2014 John E. Kleber, noted historian and editor of the "Encyclopedia of Louisville"
2013 Walter Hutchins, longtime LHL Board member and African American historian
2012 Steve Porter, noted preservationist
2011 Rick Bell, longtime LHL Board member and river historian
2010 Ed Hamilton, sculptor of many historic statues
2009 Bill & Carol Butler, book publishers of many local history books
2008 Charles ‘Chuck’ Parrish, longtime LHL Board member and river historian
2007 David Jones, Sr., co-founder of Humana and benefactor of many historic sites
2006 Bill Weyland, preservationist
2005 Clest Lanier, Executive Director of the African American Heritage Center
2004 Mary Jean Kinsman, noted preservationist and historian
2003 Owsley Brown Frazier, philanthropist and founder of Frazier History Museum
2002 Grady Clay, author of numerous books and noted urbanist
2001 David Armstrong, former Mayor of Louisville and noted preservationist
2000 Steve Wiser, longtime member of LHL Board, preservationist, and author of 10 local history books
1999 Edie Bingham, noted preservationist
1998 Emilie Strong Smith, noted preservationist
1997 Mark Thompson, longtime member of LHL Board and treasurer
1996 Mae Salyers, noted preservationist
1995 Ann Hasset, noted preservationist
1994 John and Joellen Johnston, longtime members of LHL Board of Directors
1993 Sam Thomas, noted Louisville historian and author of over 20 local history books
1992 George Yater, noted historian of Louisville and author of "Two Hundred Years at the Falls of the Ohio"
1991 Tom Owen, noted historian of Louisville and archivist at U of L
1990 Sister Mary Michael Creamer, longtime LHL Board member and Spalding University archivist