For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 18, 2004
President George W. Bush today announced recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation's highest civil award. The award was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize civilians for their service during World War II, and it was reinstated by President Kennedy in 1963 to honor distinguished service. President Bush will honor these recipients at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, June 23, 2004.
Robert L. Bartley was one of the most influential journalists in American history. A champion of free markets, individual liberty, and the values necessary for a free society, he helped shape the times in which we live.
Edward W. Brooke has compiled a lengthy and distinguished record of public service. A decorated combat infantry officer in World War II, he served in North Africa and Italy. He later was elected attorney general of Massachusetts, and then served 12 years in the United States Senate, where he was the first African-American Senator to be elected by popular vote.
Doris Day became an American icon through her classic performances as an actress and singer. She has captured the hearts of Americans while enriching our culture.
Vartan Gregorian, scholar and historian, revitalized the New York Public Library during the 1980s. He has taught at six universities, and led Brown University as its president for nine years before moving to his current post as president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Gilbert M. Grosvenor is chairman of the Board of the National Geographic Society, and has devoted 50 years of his life to the Society. He has tirelessly promoted exploration, research, and geography education, helping to make the world's cultures and environment more accessible for all.
Gordon B. Hinckley has been President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1995, and has served in church leadership since the 1930s. In those capacities, he has inspired millions and has led efforts to improve humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and education funding across the globe.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II, a devoted servant of God, has championed the cause of the poor, the weak, the hungry, and the outcast. He has defended the unique dignity of every life, and the goodness of all life. Through his faith and moral conviction, he has given courage to others to be not afraid in overcoming injustice and oppression. His principled stand for peace and freedom has inspired millions and helped to topple communism and tyranny. The President awarded the Medal of Freedom to the Holy Father on June 4, 2004, at the Vatican.
Este Lauder epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit of America, starting her own company and growing it into an enterprise whose brand is known around the world. Her many charitable works included establishing the Este and Joseph Lauder Foundation, which has helped fund children's parks in New York City. Rita Moreno has inspired many throughout her celebrated career as an actress on screen and stage. Her performances have been recognized with Grammy, Tony, and Emmy Awards, and she received an Oscar in 1961 for her performance as Anita in West Side Story.
Arnold Palmer has won 92 golf championships -- including four Masters, two British Opens, and the U.S. Open. As the inspiration behind "Arnie's Army," he has entertained generations of fans and helped secure golf's place in the mainstream of American sport.
Arnall Patz is a distinguished American ophthalmologist and world-renowned researcher on the causes and treatment of eye disease. His breakthrough work, particularly with children, has saved countless thousands from blindness.
Norman Podhoretz has been at the forefront of American intellectual thought for the last half-century, as the longtime editor-in-chief of Commentary magazine, and as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Walter B. Wriston has been a steadfast advocate of free-market principles, as former chairman and chief executive officer of Citibank and chairman of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board. During his career in the private sector, he oversaw the introduction of electronic banking technology that helped pave the way for today's modern global economy.
# # #