1936 Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal for Best Novel by a Californian for Tortilla Flat.
1937 Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal for Best Novel by a Californian for In Dubious Battle.
1938 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Of Mice and Men.
1939 Member of National Institute of Arts and Letters--American Booksellers' Award
1940 Pulitzer Prize Fiction Award for The Grapes of Wrath.
1946 King Haakon Liberty Cross (Norway) for The Moon Is Down.
1948 Made a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
1962 Nobel Prize for Literature.
1963 Honorary Consultant in American Literature to the Library of Congress.
1964 United States Medal of Freedom, Trustee of John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, Annual "Paperback of the Year" Award, Press Medal of Freedom.
1966 Member of the National Arts Council.
1979 US Postal Service issues a John Steinbeck Commemorative Stamp.
1984 American Arts Gold Medallion of Steinbeck issued by the US Mint.
Nearly thirty Academy Award nominations and four Academy Awards were given for adaptations of John Steinbeck stories.
Of Mice and Men (1939) was nominated for five Academy Awards: Norbert Brodine for cinematography; Aaron Copland for both original score and scoring; Hal Roach for outstanding production; and Hal Roach Sound Department, Elmer A. Raguse, Sound Director for best sound recording.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940) was nominated for seven Academy Awards: Henry Fonda for best actor; Jane Darwell for best actress in a supporting role; John Ford for director; Robert E. Simpson for film editing; Twentieth Century Fox for outstanding production; Twentieth Century Fox Studio Sound Department, E. H. Hansen, Sound Director for sound recording; Nunnally Johnson for best screenplay adaptation. Jane Darwell and John Ford received Oscars.
Tortilla Flat (1942) was nominated for one Academy Award: Frank Morgan for best actor in a supporting role.
Lifeboat (1944) was nominated for three Academy Awards: Glen MacWilliams for cinematography; Alfred Hitchcock for directing; and John Steinbeck for the story.
A Medal for Benny (1945) was nominated for two Academy Awards: J. Carrol Naish for best actor in a supporting role; and John Steinbeck and Jack Wagner for the story.
Viva, Zapata! (1952) was nominated for six Academy Awards: Marlon Brando for best actor; Anthony Quinn for best actor in a supporting role; Lyle Wheeler, and Leland Fuller for art direction; Alex North for musical score; Thomas Little and Claude Carpenter for set decoration; John Steinbeck for story and screenplay. Anthony Quinn received an Oscar.
East of Eden (1955) was nominated for four Academy Awards: James Dean for best actor; Jo Van Fleet for best actress in a supporting role; Elia Kazan for best director; Paul Osborn for best original screenplay. Jo Van Fleet received an Oscar.