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23 'genius' grants announced by MacArthur foundation

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2015 file photo, Claudia Rankine attends the 46th NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. Gene Luen Yang, a prize-winning author and the national ambassador for young people’s literature, and Rankine, one of poetry’s brightest and most innovative stars, are among this year’s 23 MacArthur fellows and recipients of the so-called “genius” grants. The fellows were announced Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which gives each honoree $625,000 over five years to spend any way he or she pleases, with no strings attached. (Photo by Rob Latour/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2015 file photo, Claudia Rankine attends the 46th NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. Gene Luen Yang, a prize-winning author and the national ambassador for young people’s literature, and Rankine, one of poetry’s brightest and most innovative stars, are among this year’s 23 MacArthur fellows and recipients of the so-called “genius” grants. The fellows were announced Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which gives each honoree $625,000 over five years to spend any way he or she pleases, with no strings attached. (Photo by Rob Latour/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK — Gene Luen Yang, a prize-winning author and the national ambassador for young people's literature, and Claudia Rankine, one of poetry's brightest and most innovative stars, are among this year's 23 MacArthur fellows and recipients of the so-called "genius" grants.

The fellows were announced Thursday by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which gives each honoree $625,000 over five years to spend any way he or she pleases, with no strings attached. More than 900 people have received the grants since 1981.

Others chosen ranged from financial service innovator Jose A. Quinonez and human rights attorney Ahilan Arulanantham to linguist Daryl Baldwin and bioengineer Rebecca Richards-Kortum.