- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2003

Mary Ann Glendon received a handsome gift on her birthday Tuesday night — a tax-free grant for $250,000 from a conservative philanthropic foundation.

The money was better than a birthday present, the Harvard University professor said, especially because it honored her scholarship in family and human rights law rather than her age (which she did not reveal).

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and former CIA Director James Woolsey were among the 300 guests in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress Tuesday night when the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation honored Mrs. Glendon, Hoover Institution scholar Thomas Sowell, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer and Leon R. Kass, a University of Chicago biologist and chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics.

The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, which boasts an estimated $580 million in assets, has provided financial fuel to conservative-leaning think tanks and publications around the country for nearly 20 years. Its awards program was instituted this year to recognize individuals whose ideas exemplify the cutting edge in such areas as faith-based initiatives, school choice and welfare reform.

Michael W. Grebe, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer, said the prize was meant to identify and reward outstanding individuals who are committed to strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles and values that sustain it.

Those selected were chosen from a pool of 100 nominees by a committee that included former Sen. William L. Armstrong, former federal Judge Robert H. Bork, National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. and former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, among others.

Mr. Bork noted the importance of the work Mr. Kass and Mrs. Glendon do as members of the bioethics council.

“They are dealing with some of the most profound issues facing our nation today,” such as cloning and embryonic-stem-cell research, Mr. Bork said.

Winners had to contend with playful prods from award presenters. Mr. Buckley, for example, empathized with the challenges Mr. Sowell faces as an author.

“If there is anything that can survive a nuclear attack, it is a typographical error,” he said.

Mr. Krauthammer, who also drew laughs from the crowd when he apologized for being a former speechwriter for Walter Mondale, said he hoped the award would “inspire others who are not in the liberal monopoly to stand up.”

“History is shaped by its battle of ideas, and I wanted to be in the arena,” he said, “not because I want to fight, but because some things need to be said. And some things need to be defended.”

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