Seven named Medal of Freedom recipients

Oct. 30, 2007 at 12:35 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Seven people, including activists, scientists and an author, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United State's highest civilian award.

President George Bush will honor the recipients at a White House ceremony Nov. 5.

The winners announced by the White House are:

-- Gary Becker, an economist who demonstrated the interaction between economics and education, demography and family organization.

-- Oscar Biscet, an advocate of a free Cuba, despite being persecuted and imprisoned.

-- Francis Collins, who revolutionized genetic research.

-- Benjamin Hooks, a pioneer of the Civil Rights movement.

-- Henry Hyde, who once served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

-- Brian Lamb, who helped open up the government process to citizens across the nation.

-- Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird."

-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected president of an African nation.

Established in 1963, the Medal of Freedom may be awarded by the president “to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” the White House said.

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