THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CITIZENS MEDAL President Clinton today announced 28 recipients of the Presidential
Citizens Medal. The honorees are being recognized for their remarkable service and accomplishments in a variety of areas including civil rights, medicine and health, human rights, religion, education, sports, disability advocacy, government service, and the environment. The President will present the medals on January 8, 2001, in a ceremony at the White House.
The Presidential Citizens Medal was established on November 13, 1969, by Executive Order 11494. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in recognition of U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for our nation. The medal may be bestowed by the President upon any citizen of the United States and may be conferred posthumously.
"I am honored to recognize these talented and dedicated individuals who in remarkable ways have risen to America's highest calling -- active citizenship," said President Clinton. "In giving freely of themselves and their time they have undoubtedly inspired others to do the same."
The following will receive the Presidential Citizens Medal:
Henry "Hank" Aaron (Atlanta, Ga.) -- Best known for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record, legendary baseball great Hank Aaron began his career on a segregated minor league team in the South. After retiring from baseball, Aaron joined the front office of the Atlanta Braves and, in 1995, established the Chasing the Dream Foundation to help underprivileged children in Atlanta pursue advanced study in the arts and sports.
Muhammad Ali (Berrien Springs, Mich.) -- In 1964, Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston, winning the world heavyweight championship boxing title for the first of three times. He retired from boxing in 1980 and has since become a goodwill ambassador around the world.
Juan Andrade, Jr. (Griffith, Indiana) -- Juan Andrade is the co-founder, president and executive director of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute in Chicago. He has led the organization in conducting more than 900 nonpartisan voter registration campaigns, registering more than one million voters. Andrade has also worked with Latin American leaders to promote democratic principles in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and Colombia.
Ruby Bridges (New Orleans, La.) -- On November 14, 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges, escorted by 75 federal marshals, became the first African-American student to attend William Frantz Elementary School. Today, through her nonprofit Ruby Bridges Foundation, she visits schools across the country to share her story with young people and promote education and racial reconciliation.
Ronald H. Brown (Bethesda, Md.) -- Ron Brown was the first African-American partner in his law firm, the first African-American chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the first African-American U.S. Secretary of Commerce. At the Department of Commerce, Brown worked to open international markets for U.S. businesses and bring billions of dollars into the U.S. economy. (posthumously)
Don Cameron (Alexandria, Va.) -- A former teacher, Don Cameron has devoted much of his life to American education. During his 20-year tenure at the National Education Association, Cameron was a driving force behind the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, a group created in 1997 to advance the organization's goal of integrating technology in classrooms.
Sister Carol Coston (Welfare, Texas) -- Sister Carol Coston has devoted her life to creative and innovative ways to serve the poor and achieve economic justice for all. She now serves as director of Partners for the Common Good, which currently has a lending pool of more than $7.9 million from its 99 religious institutions' investors.
Archibald Cox (Brooksville, Maine) -- An attorney and professor, Cox served as Solicitor General, Watergate Special Prosecutor, and from 1980 to 1992, as the chairman of Common Cause, a non-profit lobbying organization dedicated to campaign finance reform.
Charles DeLisi (Brookline, Mass.) -- A Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, Charles DeLisi served as Director of the Office of Health and Environmental Research in the Department of Energy from 1985 to 1987. In that capacity, DeLisi set aside the first funding for human genome research and conceived of a project to sequence the human genome, which eventually led to the current revolution in genetic knowledge.
Jack Greenberg (New York, N.Y.) -- Jack Greenberg served from 1949-1984 at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as assistant counsel and later as director-counsel. He argued 40 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Brown v. Board of Education. He is a founding member of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and is currently a professor at Columbia Law School.
David Ho (Chappaqua, N.Y.) -- A distinguished AIDS researcher, Dr. David Ho is the Scientific Director and CEO of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. Under his direction, researchers at the Diamond Center have published groundbreaking studies on HIV/AIDs.
I. King Jordan (Washington, D.C.) -- Dr. I. King Jordan is the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, and is known and respected around the world not only for his advocacy on behalf of deaf and disability issues, but as a proponent of quality higher education.
Anthony Lewis (Cambridge, Mass.) -- A renowned columnist at the New York Times since 1969, Anthony Lewis won Pulitzer Prizes for national reporting in 1955 and 1963. Lewis began his career in journalism in 1952 at the Washington Daily News.
Irene Morgan (Roosevelt, N.Y.) -- In 1944, Irene Morgan was arrested and jailed in Gloucester, Virginia, for refusing to give her seat in the back of a Greyhound bus to a white couple. Two NAACP lawyers, Thurgood Marshall and William Hastie, appealed her arrest and $10 fine to the U.S. Supreme Court. Their appeal resulted in the landmark 1946 decision that struck down Jim Crow segregation in interstate transportation.
Constance Baker Motley (New York, N.Y.) -- Constance Baker Motley began her legal career as an attorney with the NAACP. Motley was a key participant in almost every case brought to enforce Brown v. Board of Education and won nine out of 10 civil rights cases she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1966, she became the first African-American female federal judge when she was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Helen Rodriguez-Trias (Brookdale, Calif.) -- A pediatrician for more than 30 years and a nationally recognized health care advocate, Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias has served as President of the American Public Health Association and is founder of the Latino Commission on AIDS in New York. Dr. Rodriguez-Trias currently works as a consultant to agencies and foundations, addressing the health needs of women, children, adolescents, and HIV-infected individuals.
Representative Edward R. Roybal (Pasadena, Calif.) -- Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1962, Rep. Edward Roybal served his congressional district in California for 30 years. Representative Roybal served as chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during the 97th Congress, and throughout his political career, he introduced and sponsored legislation to protect the rights of Hispanics, senior citizens, the poor, and people with disabilities.
Robert E. Rubin (New York, N.Y.) -- Robert Rubin's accomplishments are legendary in the world of domestic and international finance. Rubin spent the bulk of his career on Wall Street, where he worked in virtually every financial market, from bonds to commodities. As U.S. Treasury Secretary, he presided over the Administration's economic policy that has led to the longest peacetime economic expansion in our nation's history.
Senator Warren B. Rudman (Hollis, N.H.) -- A U.S. Senator from New Hampshire from 1981 to 1993, Sen. Rudman co-authored the landmark Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction law and served as a member of the Appropriations Committee. He serves as Vice Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and in 1998, was appointed as chair of the Special Oversight Board for Department of Defense Investigations of Gulf War Chemical and Biological Incidents.
Charles F.C. Ruff (Washington, D.C.) -- Charles Ruff had a long and distinguished career of service to the D.C. government, the D.C. bar association, and the nation. He served as a law professor at the University of Liberia and the Georgetown University Law Center, Watergate special prosecutor, a high-ranking member of the Carter Justice Department, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and White House Counsel. In 1995, he left private practice to serve as District of Columbia Corporation Counsel. (posthumous)
Rabbi Arthur Schneier (New York, N.Y.) -- Rabbi Schneier, of the Park East Synagogue in New York, is the founder and president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a coalition of business and religious leaders united on behalf of religious freedom and human rights throughout the world.
Eli J. Segal (Boston, Mass.) -- As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Welfare-to-Work Partnership, Eli Segal is helping to move people from welfare to work by educating businesses about the benefits of hiring individuals on welfare and assisting them with the hiring process. Segal also served as Assistant to the President for National and Community Service and later as both a board member and CEO of the Corporation for National Service.
Representative John F. Seiberling (Akron, Ohio) -- Representative John Seiberling has an astonishing record of accomplishment on environmental issues. A Member of Congress from 1970-1987, he authored legislation that established the 30,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, tripled the size of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and prohibited mining in public parks. He is credited with saving more than 69 million acres of wilderness in 27 states.
John H. H. Sengstacke (Chicago, Ill.) -- For 57 years, John Sengstacke served as publisher and editor of the Chicago Defender, an African-American newspaper his uncle founded in 1905. He persuaded President Franklin Roosevelt to include the first black reporter in a White House news conference, and under Sengstacke's leadership, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), an organization of African-American newspaper publishers, was formed in 1940. (posthumous)
Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth (Cincinnati, Ohio) -- Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was a leader of the non-violent civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, leading efforts to integrate Birmingham, Alabama's schools, buses and recreational facilities. Shuttlesworth helped Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, serving as the organization's first secretary.
Elizabeth Taylor (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Actress Elizabeth Taylor is a co-founder and spokesperson for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR), the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research, AIDS prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy.
Marion Wiesel (Greenwich, Conn./New York, N.Y.) -- A strong advocate for the world's children, advancing human rights and peace, Marion Wiesel helped her husband to establish the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. She wrote and narrated Children of the Night, a documentary about the 1.3 million children killed in the Holocaust, and edited To Give Them Light, a collection of Roman Vishniac's photography.
Patrisha A. Wright (Berkeley, Calif./Takoma Park, Md.) -- Patrisha Wright has served as Director of Washington Affairs for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) since the early 1980s. She has worked to have disability issues identified as civil rights issues, and as the only disability community representative on the Board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), was instrumental in obtaining the group's crucial support of the ADA.
# # #