President Bush announced Wednesday that he’ll award the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil honor.
Lantos died of complications from cancer on Feb. 11.
He had been chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And his amazing personal story and willingness to strike a deal earned him many admirers on Capitol Hill.
Captured by Nazi soldiers in his native Hungary as a child, Lantos escaped from a forced labor camp and eventually emigrated to America. After a career as an economics professor, Lantos was elected to Congress in 1980.
Also to be honored with Lantos are physicians Benjamin S. Carson and Anthony S. Fauci; retired Marine Gen. Peter Pace, formerly chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala; and lawyer Laurence H. Silberman.
On Thursday, Lantos will also be posthumously awarded with the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom from The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.