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Friday October 19, 2012

NEW YORK -- When two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks found out he was being honored by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity at the New York Public Library, he remembered he owed a couple of books.

"I’ve got to turn them in from 1977," Hanks said on the red carpet before going into the gala event.

Hanks posed on the red carpet with his wife, Rita Wilson, his son Colin, of "Dexter" fame, and Wiesel too.

Hanks’ consistent thoughtfulness and concern with his charitable endeavors earned him the honor. He holds it higher than his acting accolades, but also realizes that the two are connected. He’s proud of the work he does, and by virtue of being in a few successful movies, feels that put him in a position to be

While the 56-year old actor says he recognizes the importance of philanthropic work, he feels that arts education still needs government support.

He feels it’s up to elected officials to understand the good things that the arts can do for the future of our country.

"Sometimes that’s the arts, and sometimes it’s other things like taking care of folks that don’t have any way of fixing their teeth. That’s not bad, either," Hanks said.