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:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Academy of Illinois news release]