Monday, March 15


Gov. Blagojevich announces six
Lincoln Academy laureates    
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[MARCH 15, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced Friday that six world-famous Illinoisans who have excelled in communications, business, education and social service will receive the Order of Lincoln Medallion at a special ceremony Saturday, April 24, at 6 p.m. at the Chicago Historical Society.

The six individuals will become Lincoln Academy of Illinois laureates, the highest honor the state can bestow for outstanding achievement by people who were born in or have resided in Illinois. The 2004 laureates are:

Studs Terkel

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and radio broadcast personality Studs Terkel has been a Chicago fixture since moving there with his parents in 1922. He received a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1934 but wound up in radio, first playing music but eventually becoming famous for interviewing people from all walks of life. Terkel hosted several of his own radio and television shows for 50 years. He published his first book in 1956, and in 1966 he published the first of his famous oral history books on the Great Depression, World War II, race relations, working, the American dream and aging. Terkel continues to live in Chicago and to interview people, work on his books and make public appearances.

Michael Beschloss

Presidential author and frequent national television commentator Michael Beschloss is an Illinois native who has been recognized by Newsweek as "the nation's leading presidential historian." Beschloss has authored books and articles about the Cold War and the Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy and Eisenhower administrations. He is a regular commentator on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" on PBS; "Good Morning America," "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" and "Nightline" on ABC; and "Larry King Live." Beschloss serves on the boards of many institutions dedicated to contributing to the public discourse on political and foreign policy matters.

David Broder

Washington Post political correspondent David Broder, a Chicago Heights native, has been called "the high priest of political journalism." He received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and was named "Best Newspaper Political Reporter" by the Washington Journalism Review. Broder's list of journalism awards is long and distinguished, and he has covered every national political campaign and convention since 1960. He has written six books and is a regular commentator on CNN's "Inside Politics" and NBC's "Meet the Press" and "Washington Week."

George Ranney Jr.

Libertyville native George A. Ranney Jr. has made an indelible mark on the state's business, political and charitable landscape. He is president and CEO of Chicago Metropolis 2020, an organization formed to ensure the region's competitiveness in the global economy. Ranney is chairman and CEO of Prairie Holdings Corporation; was a partner and remains senior counsel with the law firm of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw; and was vice president of Inland Steel Industries. He chaired or was a member of numerous task forces for Govs. Ogilvie, Thompson, Edgar and Ryan, including the one that created the Regional Transportation Authority. Ranney also actively serves on the boards of numerous charitable and educational foundations.


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Harry L. Crisp II

Harry L. Crisp II has been a committed and effective champion of education in Illinois. As chairman of the Illinois Community College Board, he was the driving force behind an initiative to put community colleges and other educational facilities into the forefront of technological advancement and to make them responsive to the changing needs of the workplace and the future employee. Crisp has actively served on foundation boards at several colleges and universities and continues to advocate links between the business community and higher education to keep educational programs relevant to the modern world.

Ernest R. Wish

Longtime Chicago resident Ernest R. Wish has had a long and distinguished record of business, government and civic involvement. A managing partner with the Chicago office of Coopers & Lybrand, Wish took early retirement in 1992 to pursue community involvement. He chaired the governor's Illinois Health Care Reform Task Force, was appointed city clerk of Chicago in 1993 and became director of the Chicago Revenue Department in 1995. Wish has been active in numerous charitable, educational and leadership development organizations and was leader of the largest local United Way in America, the Chicago United Way/Crusade of Mercy, for three years.

Lincoln Academy Chancellor John B. Simon of Chicago will preside over the April 24 awards presentation. The traditional reception, banquet and ball will follow the ceremony.

The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established in 1965 to honor Illinois' most distinguished citizens, either by birth or residence, who have brought honor to the state by their achievements. Past honorees have included John Chancellor, Paul Harvey, Walter Payton, Mike Royko, Ronald Reagan, Ann Landers, Lester Crown, Gwendolyn Brooks and Roger Ebert.

[Lincoln Academy of Illinois news release]

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