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                      Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
For Immediate Release                                 October 17, 1997 

                         STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Hillary and I are greatly saddened by the loss of one of our country's most gifted storytellers, James A. Michener. Through his rich narratives woven on the grandest scale, Michener made our imaginations soar and our history come alive. From the sandy shores of the South Pacific to the barren tundra of Alaska, we followed Michener on epic journeys through time and place, along the way celebrating such time-honored virtues as patriotism, courage, and common sense. And even after achieving great fame and wealth, Michener never forgot his humble roots. He was a major benefactor to colleges and writers' groups, eventually donating much of his fortune for the benefit of others. America has lost a rich voice and a generous spirit.