U.S. author Philip Roth won the 2012 literature prize in recognition of his contribution to American literature, but was unable to be present because he is recovering from recent surgery. U.S. Ambassador Alan Solomont read words of thanks on Roth's behalf.
Other recipients Friday included Japan's Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of video game Mario Bros, who claimed the communication and humanities award. British biologist Gregory Winter and American pathologist Richard Lerner were distinguished in science and technology research.
Spain national soccer team players Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernandez received the sports award, while Spanish architect Rafael Moneo was honored in the arts category.
The awards, created in 1981, are each worth €50,000 ($65,000).