Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Anthony Lewis To Receive Baldwin Medal of Liberty at First-Ever ACLU Membership Conference

June 13, 2003 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON-The American Civil Liberties Union tonight honors Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and First Amendment scholar Anthony Lewis for his lifetime contributions to the field of constitutional law and his championing of civil liberty issues.

Anthony Lewis will receive the Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty at a dinner here during the ACLU’s Inaugural Membership Conference.

“”Generations of readers and students know about the history of the Supreme Court and civil liberties because of Anthony Lewis’s columns and the widespread use of his work in classrooms,”” said ACLU President Nadine Strossen, who will present the award to Lewis. “”He created a beat and used his column to stress the power of the courts and the media to bring about change.””

The ACLU’s Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty, awarded every other year, recognizes a lifetime of contributions to civil liberties or, in exceptional cases, a single outstanding contribution. Lewis will receive a crystal Medal of Liberty statuette as well as a check for $25,000. Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu, who challenged the U.S. government’s evacuation and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, were honored in 2001.

Lewis was born in New York City on March 27, 1927. He attended the Horace Mann School in New York and received his B.A. degree from Harvard College in 1948. Lewis won his first Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1955 as a reporter for the Washington Daily News before joining The New York Times in 1955.

After joining the The Times, he won a second Pulitzer Prize in 1963 for his coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court. Lewis has written three books: Gideon’s Trumpet, about a landmark Supreme Court case that compelled states to provide attorneys for indigent defendants; Portrait of a Decade, about the seismic changes in American race relations; and Make No Law, about Times v. Sullivan, a Supreme Court case that changed the course of First Amendment litigation in America.

For 15 years, Lewis taught a course on the Constitution and the press at Harvard Law School. Last year, he was named Visiting Lombard Lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Joining Strossen in presenting the honors tonight will be ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero and ACLU General Counsel James Ferguson. Stand Up Comics for Freedom will cap off the evening with performances by Paula Poundstone, Judy Gold and Kate Clinton.

For more information on the ACLU membership conference, go to /memberconf03

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