Sara Paretsky is being recognized for her outstanding advancement of the arts. In 1986 she helped found Sisters in Crime, which assists female mystery writers by combating discrimination, raising awareness of their contributions and offering guidance during the publishing process. In 1987, Paretsky was voted Ms. Magazine's Woman of the Year for her efforts. In 2001, Paretsky created the Sara and Two C-Dogs foundation which supports women in the arts, letters and sciences. She serves on the advisory boards of Literature for All of Us, a literacy group for teen moms, and Thresholds, which serves Chicago's mentally-ill homeless.
In 1988, Paretsky was inducted into the Emily Taylor Women's Resource Center Women's Hall of Fame at KU. She is the namesake and sponsor for the Sara Paretsky Scholarship and is also responsible for the Sara and Mary Edwards Paretsky Award for Creativity.
Paretsky has written 12 novels, multiple short stories and essays, and is the recipient of numerous writing awards. In 1996, she was presented with the Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contribution to Midwest Literature. She was recently presented with the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement as a Crime Writer by the British Crime Writers Association. Paretsky received a doctoral degree in history as well as a master's in business administration from the University of Chicago. She also has honorary degrees from Columbia College, Elmhurst College, MacMurray College and DePaul University.