In 1962, Steinbeck wonthe Nobel Prize for literature for his “realistic and imaginative writing, combining as it does sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” On the dayof the announcement (Oct. 25) when he was asked by a reporter at a press conference given by his publisher, if he thought he deserved the Nobel, hesaid: "Frankly, no."  In his acceptance speech later in the year in Stockholm, he said:
the writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man'sproven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit—for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair,these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication norany membership in literature.
—Steinbeck Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
He also said in his speech, "Man himself has become our greatest hazardand our only hope. So that today, St. John the apostle may well be paraphrased: In the end is the Word, and the Word is Man—and the Word is with Men."