The awards are given in recognition of people who enhance other people's lives. Each winner receives a cheque for $250,000. The awards have been bestowed each year since 1993 by the Heinz Family Foundation in memory of Senator John Heinz who died in a plane crash in 1991. Senator Heinz was heir to the Heinz food fortune.
Senator Heinz's widow said this year's recipients "represent a rare and wonderful blend of expertise, courage and concern for the next generation".
Since leaving Apple, Steve Wozniak has built a long record of charitable works. He focuses particularly on supporting the arts and on educating children in computer skills.
Other winners include Arthur Mitchell, co-founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, anti-nuclear activist and Harvard professor John Holdren, and James Hansen - an environmnetal researcher who co-founded the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Institute on Climate and Planets. Psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Beck and Jacques d'Amboise, founder of New York's National Dance Institute, also won awards from the Foundation.