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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Los Angeles, California)
For Immediate Release                                      July 10, 1999


Hillary and I were greatly saddened to learn of the death of James Farmer, one of this century's pioneers for freedom. As the leader of the Congress of Racial Equality, he stood on the front lines of the struggle for justice. At historic sit-ins, Freedom Rides, and countless picket lines, thousands of citizens risked their lives on behalf of basic rights, led by the inspiration of James Farmer. Their effort changed America. Through a long career as an activist, public servant, and educator, he never lost sight of the shining goal of integration and racial equality. He never stopped working to build One America. I was privileged to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year. James Farmer helped to make America a better nation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and many friends.