View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                        (New Orleans, Louisiana)
For Immediate Release                                 September 27, 1999


Hillary and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Oseola McCarty of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Ms. McCarty is a true American hero. In 1995 she donated $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi for scholarships for needy students. The extraordinary thing about this gift was that Ms. McCarty accumulated the money from working 75 years washing and ironing people's clothes.

I had the pleasure of awarding this extraordinary woman the Presidential Citizens' Medal for her extraordinary act of generosity. While we mourn her passing, Oseola McCarty's commitment to the dignity of work, her belief in the power of education and her extraordinary generosity ensure that her memory will live on for generations to come. Our country needs more people like her, who don't just talk about responsibility and community, but who live those values everyday.