THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 8, 2001
PRESIDENT CLINTON AWARDS THE PRESIDENTIAL CITIZENS MEDALS
Today, President Clinton will present the Presidential Citizens Medal
to 28 honorees. These individuals are being recognized for their remarkable
service and accomplishments in a variety of areas including civil rights,
medicine and health, human rights, religion, education, disability
advocacy, government service, and the environment.
The Presidential Citizens Medal was established on November 13, 1969,
by Executive Order 11494. The medal is awarded by the President of the
United States in recognition of U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary
deeds of service for our nation. The medal may be bestowed by the President
upon any citizen of the United States and may be conferred posthumously.
Below is a list of recipients, including the citation language.
Henry ?Hank? Aaron
A sports legend, Hank Aaron not only set baseball?s all-time home-run
record, but tore down racial barriers in the process. He played the game
with extraordinary grace and skill despite encountering chilling
discrimination, and he blazed a trail to baseball?s front office for other
African Americans. A staunch civil rights advocate and a champion of
underprivileged children, Hank Aaron has shown us the thrill of victory and
the importance of giving every American an equal opportunity to strive for
The most celebrated boxer in history and a devoted social activist,
Muhammad Ali continues to inspire us. Truly the ?greatest of all time,? Ali
dominated boxing for two decades, winning an Olympic gold medal and
becoming a three-time heavyweight champion of the world. With equal
tenacity, through his advocacy for peace, tolerance, and compassion, he
challenges our Nation to strive for equality and justice for all, earning
our deepest respect and gratitude.
As Co-Founder, President, and Executive Director of the United States
Hispanic Leadership Institute, Juan Andrade has been a staunch advocate for
America?s Latino community. He has helped register more than a million new
Latino voters and has worked to increase Hispanic representation at every
level of government. Recognizing the promise of future generations, he has
also dedicated himself to helping prepare young Hispanic Americans to
become leaders of our Nation.
As a small, brave child, Ruby Bridges walked with courage past angry
protestors and into the history books as the African American child who
integrated her New Orleans school. Forty years later, she continues to show
that same courage, rejecting bitterness to bring a message of love, faith,
and acceptance to a new generation of Americans.
Ronald H. Brown (posthumously)
Throughout his life, Ron Brown worked to eliminate racial barriers and
create opportunity for all Americans. As the first African American to
become a partner in his law firm, chairman of a major political party, and
Secretary of Commerce, he showed us that we all benefit from an inclusive
society. Opening international markets for American businesses and
promoting commercial diplomacy, he demonstrated the value of cooperation
and helped ensure America?s leadership in the global economy.
A powerful voice for students and teachers, Don Cameron has worked
with a pioneering spirit to address the challenges facing America?s public
schools. As Executive Director of the National Education Association and
as Founding Co-Chair of the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, he has
strived for almost 2 decades to ensure students have the talented teachers
and technological skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.
Carol Coston, O.P.
A tireless advocate for the poor and oppressed, Sister Carol Coston
has worked with faith and vision to shape public policy that reflects
Christian values. From promoting human rights and social justice to
helping bring economic development to low-income areas, Sister Carol Coston
has used her creative leadership and moral compass to build a more just
society in America and around the world.
A renowned jurist, distinguished law professor, and exemplary public
servant, Archibald Cox has devoted his career to defending the rule of law.
As Solicitor General, he argued numerous landmark civil rights cases before
the U.S. Supreme Court; as Special Prosecutor during a time of
constitutional crisis, he carried out his responsibilities with moral
courage and uncompromising integrity; and as Chairman of Common Cause, he
worked vigorously for campaign finance reform, insistent on a government
of, by, and for the people.
Dr. Charles Delisi
A pioneer and visionary, biophysicist Dr. Charles DeLisi has
profoundly increased our knowledge about the building blocks of life. The
first government scientist to outline the feasibility, goals, and
parameters of the Human Genome Project, he helped to galvanize an
international team of researchers to pool resources, create new
technologies, and launch the monumental task of gene mapping and
In the courtroom and the classroom, Jack Greenberg has been a crusader
for freedom and equality for more than half a century. Arguing 40 civil
rights cases before the United States Supreme Court, including the historic
Brown v. Board of Education, he helped break down the legal underpinnings
of desegregation in America, and as a professor of law, an advocate for
international human rights, and head of the NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, he has helped shape a more just society.
One of the world's leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS, David Ho has
unraveled much of the mystery of the virus, helping us understand how it
behaves and how it is best treated. His groundbreaking work using protease
inhibitors in combination with standard therapies has ensured that
thousands of people with AIDS live longer and healthier lives. For his
tireless efforts and commitment to helping others, our nation is forever
Dr. I. King Jordan
As the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, Dr. I. King
Jordan has become a hero, mentor, and tireless advocate for people who are
deaf or hard of hearing. Trained in psychology, he has been a champion of
higher education, and he played a key role in the passage of the Americans
with Disabilities Act. Through his extraordinary leadership and
achievements, Dr. Jordan has raised international awareness of the
importance of self-determination and full integration for all people with
Revered by colleagues and readers alike for his Pulitzer prize-winning
reporting, profound insight, and broad understanding of constitutional law,
Anthony Lewis has set the highest standard of journalistic ethics and
excellence. A staunch defender of freedom of speech, individual rights,
and the rule of law, he has been a clear and courageous voice for democracy
When Irene Morgan boarded a bus for Baltimore in the summer of 1944,
she took the first step on a journey that would change America forever.
Refusing to surrender her seat to a white couple, she was arrested, tried,
and fined for breaking segregation laws. With courage and tenacity, she
appealed her conviction and won a landmark Supreme Court victory that
outlawed segregation in interstate transportation and helped make America a
more just society.
Constance Baker Motley
A key legal strategist of the civil rights movement, Constance Baker
Motley waged the battle for equality in the courtroom and, with quiet
courage and remarkable skill, won landmark victories that dismantled
segregation in America. As a dedicated public servant and distinguished
judge, she has broken down political, social, and professional barriers,
and her pursuit of equal justice under law has widened the circle of
opportunity in America.
A dedicated pediatrician, outstanding educator, and dynamic leader in
public health, Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias has strived to ensure full and
equal access to health care for all. With unwavering conviction, she has
challenged discriminatory practices in health care, encouraged community
involvement in creating healthy environments, worked to prevent the spread
of AIDS, and advocated for improving women?s and children?s health.
Throughout her career, she has met every challenge with wisdom, strength,
A devoted public servant for 43 years, Edward Roybal was at the
forefront of efforts to advance civil rights, establish rural mental health
programs, fund AIDS research, and improve support services for veterans and
the elderly. As founder of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, he created a
national forum for Hispanic issues and opened doors for a new generation of
Hispanic American leaders.
Leaving a brilliant career on Wall Street to serve as Director of the
National Economic Council and Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin
played a pivotal role in creating America's longest economic expansion. He
forged a new team approach that produced an economic framework based on
fiscal discipline, investment in opportunity, and expanded trade, while
exhibiting exceptional leadership in ensuring global financial stability.
His efforts helped countless Americans share in an era of unprecedented
Senator Warren B. Rudman
Warren Rudman has always put his country first, whether fighting for
freedom in the Korean War, defending the Constitution as a United States
Senator, promoting fiscal discipline as Co-Founder of the Concord
Coalition, or helping to shape national security policy as Chairman of the
President?s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Forthright and
courageous, he has consistently rejected partisanship and created a
remarkable legacy of public service.
Charles Ruff (posthumously)
A distinguished lawyer and exceptional public servant, Charles Ruff
dedicated his career to advancing the cause of justice. Whether serving as
Watergate Special Prosecutor, Acting Deputy Attorney General, United States
Attorney, Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia, or Counsel to
the President, he fulfilled his demanding responsibilities with singular
judgment, integrity, and devotion to the rule of law. Wise and
compassionate, he used his extraordinary skills to strengthen our nation?s
legal system and revitalize our nation?s capital.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier
A Holocaust survivor, Rabbi Arthur Schneier has devoted a lifetime to
overcoming the forces of hatred and intolerance. As an international
envoy, Chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America's
Heritage Abroad, and founder and president of the Appeal of Conscience
Foundation, he has set an inspiring example of spiritual leadership by
encouraging interfaith dialogue and intercultural understanding and
promoting the cause of religious freedom around the world.
Eli J. Segal
As founder of AmeriCorps and the first Chief Executive Officer of the
Corporation for National and Community Service, Eli Segal has galvanized
the American spirit of community and helped us realize the dream of a vital
civilian service corps. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the
Welfare-to-Work Partnership, he has brought businesses and communities
together to create opportunity for welfare recipients, enabling them to
experience the power, dignity, and independence of work.
Juan Andrade, Jr.
John F. Seiberling
An ardent advocate for the environment, John F. Seiberling has
demonstrated a profound commitment to America?s natural treasures.
Championing numerous bills during his 17 years in Congress, including the
Alaska Lands Act, John Seiberling safeguarded millions of acres of parks,
forests, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas. Working in a spirit of
bipartisanship, he also promoted civil rights and worker rights, always
striving to improve the quality of life in America.
John Sengstacke (posthumously)
A lifetime crusader for equal opportunity for African Americans, John
Sengstacke used the power of the press to bring our nation closer to its
ideals. As owner, publisher, and editor of the legendary Chicago Defender,
he provided a national forum for African American issues, nurtured the
talents of generations of African American journalists, and played a
crucial role in helping to integrate the Armed Forces, major league
baseball, the U.S. Postal Service, and the White House press corps.
Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth
As Founder of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and
Co-Founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Reverend
Fred Shuttlesworth endured imprisonment, assault, and the bombing of his
home to integrate Birmingham?s public facilities. A hero of the civil
rights movement and a freedom fighter motivated by his faith in God, he
taught all Americans that freedom and justice are worth any price.
A screen legend, Elizabeth Taylor has captured the hearts of audiences
around the world, portraying some of the most memorable characters in film
history. A dedicated leader in the fight against AIDS, she has focused
national attention on this devastating disease. With grace, style, and
compassion, she has reminded us of our responsibility to reach out to those
Convinced that our greatest hope for a just society is to teach
tolerance and mutual respect, Marion Wiesel has worked with creativity and
compassion to combat hatred and injustice. Whether writing a haunting
documentary about the children of the Holocaust, translating her husband?s
work, or helping young Ethiopians in Israel to thrive and succeed in a new
land, she is replacing despair with dignity and overcoming ignorance with
Widely regarded as "The General" guiding the campaign to pass the
Americans with Disabilities Act, Patrisha Wright has been a driving force
in the battle against discrimination based on disability. Through her
tireless efforts to forge relationships with the civil rights community,
defend disability rights, and promote progressive legislation, she has
helped break down barriers to equality of opportunity, enabling people with
disabilities to participate more fully in our society.