The Washington Times - November 5, 2007, 10:26AM
The White House
Gary S. Becker has broadened the spectrum of economics and social science through his analysis of the interaction between economics and topics such as education, demography, and family organization. His work has helped improve the standard of living for people around the world.\ \ \ Oscar Elias Biscet is a champion in the fight against tyranny and oppression. Despite being persecuted and imprisoned for his beliefs, he continues to advocate for a free Cuba in which the rights of all people are respected. (*Yan Valdes will accept the medal on behalf of his father, Oscar Elias Biscet.)\ \ \ Francis S. Collins has revolutionized genetic research. Under his leadership, the Human Genome Project mapped and sequenced the full human genome and greatly expanded our understanding of human DNA.\ \ \ Benjamin L. Hooks has dedicated his life to equality, opportunity, and justice. He is a pioneer of the civil rights movement, and his efforts to extend the full promise of America to all its citizens have helped bring our nation closer to its founding ideals.\ \ \ Henry J. Hyde has served America with distinction. During his career in the House of Representatives, he was a powerful defender of life and a leading advocate for a strong national defense and for freedom around the world. (*Bob Hyde will accept the medal on behalf of his father, Henry Hyde.)\ \ \ Brian P. Lamb has elevated America’s public debate and helped open up our government to citizens across the nation. His dedication to a transparent political system and the free flow of ideas has enriched and strengthened our democracy.\ \ \ Harper Lee has made an outstanding contribution to America’s literary tradition. At a critical moment in our history, her beautiful book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” helped focus the nation on the turbulent struggle for equality.\ \ \ Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has helped heal a country torn apart by conflict through perseverance, personal courage, and an unwavering commitment to building a more hopeful future for her homeland. The first woman elected president of an African nation, she has worked to expand freedom and improve the lives of people in Liberia and across Africa.

— Jon Ward, White House correspondent, The Washington Times