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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Managua, Nicaragua)
For Immediate Release                                      March 8, 1999


Today, America lost one of the century's most beloved heroes, Joe DiMaggio. This son of Italian immigrants gave every American something to believe in. He became the very symbol of American grace, power and skill. A brilliant individual performer, he led his magnificent Yankees to the World Series 10 out of his 13 years. His electrifying 56-game hitting streak, unequaled to this day, is one of the most remarkable achievements by any athlete in any sport.

He stood tall off the field as well. In 1943, he volunteered for the Army and swapped his Yankee paycheck for $50-a-month private's salary. He and the foundation he started gave mightily to help poor children benefit from the world's best medical care. And he was an incredibly devoted father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

I have no doubt that when future generations look back at the best of America in the 20th Century, they will think of the "Yankee Clipper" and all that he achieved. Hillary and I extend our thoughts and prayers to his family.