Writer, educator and jazz clarinetist Tom Sancton has been awarded the rank of Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature by the consul general of France.

With the award, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication honors Sancton for his artistic and literary work, and for his contribution to the diffusion and prestige of French culture in the world.

Sancton’s Ph.D. thesis at Oxford University, “America in the Eyes of the French Left, 1848-1871,” won the Gilbert Chinard Prize for French-American studies. In France, he worked for 22 years as a writer, editor and foreign correspondent for Time magazine, serving for nine years as Paris bureau chief. Now back in New Orleans, Sancton is strongly involved in the French-speaking community and works to consolidate the ties between Louisiana and France.