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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 21, 1994

Statement by the Press Secretary

President Clinton announced today that he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to nine distinguished Americans. While the recipients come from many different walks of life, all have demonstrated the highest ideals of service to others, earning the admiration and respect of their fellow citizens. The President will bestow the medals at a White House ceremony on August 8, 1994. The honorees are as follows:

HERBERT BLOCK. Better known by his pen name, Herblock, he has contributed to the Washington Post's editorial page with insightful cartoons for nearly fifty years, earning numerous journalism awards, including several Pulitzer prizes. He continues his witty satire well into his eighties.

CESAR CHAVEZ. The founder of the United Farm Workers of America, Chavez became one of the most influential labor leaders of this century. He championed the rights of Hispanic farm workers throughout his courageous and inspiring life, which ended in April of 1993.

ARTHUR FLEMMING. Flemming distinguished himself through a long and impressive tenure with the federal government, serving under every President from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. He has worked as a member of the Hoover Commission, Chairman of the President's Advisory Committee on Government Organization, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Chairman of the White House Conference on Aging, and Chairman of the Civil Rights Commission.

JAMES GRANT. Grant has proven to be a remarkably effective executive director of UNICEF, demonstrating consistent compassion and courage in his crusade on behalf of the world's children. Throughout his career, he has continued to try to alleviate suffering around the world and once led a relief convoy into the besieged city of Sarajevo after brokering a cease-fire.

DOROTHY HEIGHT. As a civil rights activist for half a century, Height has labored throughout her life to educate and empower women and African Americans and can claim a role in virtually every victory of the Civil Rights Movement. She continues to strive to combat violent crime against children.

BARBARA JORDAN. Jordan has worked to advance civil rights and ethics in government through her service as a Congresswoman and a professor. Today, she teaches politics at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Government at the University of Texas, encouraging ethical behavior among the would-be leaders of tomorrow.

LANE KIRKLAND. As President of the AFL-CIO, Kirkland has been a consistent voice for organized labor and freedom-loving people around the globe. He has worked to foster new partnerships between labor and management, helping our manufacturing sector to run more smoothly, efficiently, and fairly.

BOB MICHEL. The House Minority Leader, who is retiring at the end of this congressional term, Michel has represented the citizens of Peoria, Illinois, since 1957. He has consistently emphasized consultation over confrontation in his legislative style, often brokering compromises with members of both parties to overcome gridlock.

ROBERT SARGENT SHRIVER. Working closely with President Kennedy to establish the Peace Corps, Shriver became the program's first director, encouraging thousands of young Americans to volunteer overseas. He later ran President Johnson's Office of Economic Opportunity and subsequently served as Ambassador to France and as Chairman of the Special Olympics.

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