The Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award is the highest honor bestowed by Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership. It is presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through service to mankind and who have contributed significantly through their leadership to the education and motivation of youth. The prestigious honor is presented annually and is based upon the recommendations of the Schweitzer Dinner Committee and the decision of the HOBY Board of Trustees. Past recipients include exceptional personalities such as Madeleine Albright, George H. Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Walter Cronkite, Gerald R. Ford, Mikhail Gorbachev, Al Gore, Henry A Kissinger, Barack Obama, General Colin Powell and Ted Tumer.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer provided the inspiration that motivated Hugh O'Brian to establish HOBY. During Hugh's nine-day visit with the great humanitarian at his clinic in Africa in 1958, Dr. Schweitzer left him with a lasting appreciation for the potential of young people and the responsibility to challenge their abilities and creativity. Dr. Schweitzer summarized his philosophy of youth motivation by saying: "The most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves." Two weeks after Hugh returned to Los Angeles, he held the first HOBY leadership development seminar for high school 10th graders.