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Pirates Roberto Clemente to be honored with Medal of Freedom

Saturday, July 19, 2003

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has selected 11 leaders in arts, sports, politics, science and business for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced yesterday.

Three of the recipients, including Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente, are receiving the nation's highest civilian honor posthumously. The others are invited to claim their medal at a White House ceremony with the president Wednesday.

The Medal of Freedom, established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize civilians for their service during World War II, was reinstated by President Kennedy in 1963 to honor distinguished service.

Bush will award the medal to:

Clemente, a baseball star from Puerto Rico, who died in 1972 delivering emergency relief to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Byron Raymond White, who served 31 years as a Supreme Court justice, was an All-American athlete and Rhodes Scholar who earned a Bronze Star in World War II. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL and led the league in rushing before working in civil rights as a deputy attorney general and earning a spot on the high court. He retired in 1993 and died last year.

Jacques Barzun, a former Columbia University professor and dean and author and scholar of modern European thought and culture. His books include "Race, A Study in Modern Superstition" and the more recent "From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life: 1500 to the Present."

Julia Child, a master chef, an author of numerous cookbooks and a host of a number of television series.

Van Cliburn, who at 23 won the first Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition held in 1958 in Moscow. He has performed around the world.

Vaclav Havel, former president of the new Czech Republic who led the nation until earlier this year. He had been imprisoned several times in the former Czechoslovakia for his plays about communist rule.

Charlton Heston, Academy Award winning actor and political activist. His films include "Ben Hur," "The Ten Commandments" and "Planet of the Apes."

Edward Teller, a physicist who emigrated from his native Hungary to escape the rise of Nazi Germany. He worked on national defense projects such as the Manhattan Project and the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Dave Thomas, who created the Wendy's restaurant chain. The philanthropist, who died last year, was adopted as a child and was a lifelong advocate for adoption.

James Q. Wilson, who has written on human morality, government and criminal justice. A professor at Harvard and UCLA, his books include "Varieties of Police Behavior: The Management of Law and Order in Eight Communities," "The Moral Sense" and "The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families."

John R. Wooden, a record-setting college basketball coach and teacher whose UCLA Bruins won 10 national championships in 12 years.

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