Ronald Reagan Freedom Award
The Ronald Reagan Freedom Award is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the private Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. The award is given to "those who have made monumental and lasting contributions to the cause of freedom worldwide."
Until her death, the award was given by Former First Lady Nancy Reagan on behalf of her husband, who died in June 2004. The award was first given in 1992, by President Ronald Reagan himself, as well as in 1993, but in 1994 Mrs. Reagan presented the award instead of her husband. Ronald Reagan had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a few months before, and was not able to attend the ceremony.
In order to receive the award, the potential recipient must "have made monumental and lasting contributions to the cause of freedom worldwide," as well as "embody President Reagan's lifelong belief that one man or woman truly can make a difference."
Former President George H.W. Bush, who was awarded the medal on February 6, 2007, the anniversary of Ronald Reagan's 96th birthday, remarked, "I wish I had a little Ronald Reagan in me when it came to communicating with the American people. Had I been blessed with my predecessor's remarkable skill, who knows? I might still be employed." On a more serious note, he said later in the speech: "Working with Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest joys of my life." Bush served as Reagan's Vice President for the eight years that Reagan was President.
- 1992 – Mikhail Gorbachev, former General Secretary of the Soviet Union
- 1993 – General Colin Powell, former National Security Advisor to President Reagan
- 1994 – Yitzhak Rabin, former Prime Minister of Israel
- 1995 – King Hussein I, then King of Jordan
- 1997 – Bob Hope, former entertainer.
- 1998 – Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- 2000 – The Reverend Billy Graham, evangelical minister
- 2002 – Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York
- 2007 – George H. W. Bush, former President of the United States, served under Reagan as Vice President of the United States
- 2008 – Natan Sharansky, former KGB prisoner, human rights activist, Israeli politician.
- 2011 – Lech Walesa, former Solidarity leader and former president of Poland
- "The Ronald Reagan Freedom Award". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
- Nguyen, Daisy (February 7, 2007). "Ex-President Bush Receives Reagan Award". Associated Press (The Washington Post). Retrieved 2007-02-24.
- Collins, Michael. "From Soviet gulag to Reagan honor". The Ventura County Star. Retrieved 2008-09-18.