The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, based in Pittsburgh, gives the medals and cash awards to civilians who have exhibited bravery in the United States and Canada. So far, 65 awards have been given this year and almost 10,000 since the first in 1964.
The thee recipients who died include Nathan N. Smith, 32, an electrician in Citrus Heights, Calif., who fell through the ice on Big Lake in McArthur, Calif., while trying to rescue his 39-year-old brother, who also died.
Dionysios Agelatos, 70, a retired contractor from Albany, Ga., died in a vain attempt to rescue his 57-year-old wife Barbara, who began calling for help while swimming in Palm Beach, Fla.
William B. Jackson Jr., 21, of Hendersonville, N.C., died trying to save his 47-year-old father from drowning in Lake Adger in Mill Spring, N.C. The father disappeared after jumping or falling into the water from his pontoon boat.
Most of the others honored Tuesday rescued or tried to rescue people from drowning or burning, usually by pulling them from cars after crashes. Timothy Rostar of Alanson, Mich., saved a neighbor who had been pinned down by a bull.
Money for the fund comes from the estate of Andrew Carnegie, the 19th and early 20th century Pittsburgh steel magnate and philanthropist.