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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Honor overdue for Jerry Lewis

- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 27, 2012

I have nominated legendary entertainer and philanthropist Jerry Lewis for the Kennedy Center Honor four years in a row. Yet, despite having received awards from Paris and many other places around the world and having raised more than $2 billion for muscular dystrophy, Mr. Lewis hasn't been chosen for honors by the Kennedy Center in Washington. What is it going to take?

For more than 47 years, Mr. Lewis tirelessly raised money to provide aid, medicine and equipment to people inflicted with this dreadful disease. He is single-handedly responsible for prolonging the lives of millions. He is also a legendary entertainer who has written, produced and directed many films for Paramount Studios and others. Unfortunately, year after year, he is denied this award by insensitive and incompetent persons charged with making the selection.

Jerry Lewis is an icon who has inspired many to pursue their dreams while providing laughter and hope to many. Although his film "The Bellboy" earned $300 million, it is clear that his efforts are for the love of children, not the money.

Mr. Lewis' movies are the type that children should be watching instead of the daily fare of sex and violence that they are fed. Yet other entertainers are honored year after year while Mr. Lewis goes unnoticed.

There is not one person who has ever been given the Kennedy Center Honor who has done more to help Americans than Jerry Lewis. He is a blessing to this country and should be recognized before he leaves this earth for the great contributions he has made both as an entertainer and humanitarian.

BARBARA JEAN DANNER

Tuskegee, Ala.

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