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Walter Annenberg

As founder of TV Guide, Annenberg made numerous public contributions, including a five-year, $500 million reform gift to education. For his work, he received the Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 1994.

The former Navy Reserve commander accepted the honor by saluting "all the members of The American Legion who served their fellow citizens and our country in a masterful manner.

"As a matter of fact, in this troubled world, it is overwhelmingly gratifying to know that we have so many thousands, hundreds of thousands - 3,100,000 - who are wholesomely involved in true Americanism, and at this particular period, it is definitely welcomed, because we need it in our country."

Annenberg assumed control of his family's Triangle Publications in 1942, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily Racing Form and the Morning Telegraph. He founded Seventeen in 1944 and TV Guide in 1953. He expanded the business to include other newspapers, plus radio and television stations, but sold many of his holdings when President Nixon named him ambassador to Great Britain. He retained TV Guide but sold it, and Triangle, to Rupert Murdoch in 1988.

A supporter of conservative causes, Annenberg considered President Reagan a close friend. Shortly after Reagan's election to his first term, Annenberg announced his intention to donate $150 million over 15 years to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, for the production of educational programs through which college credit could be earned.

An extensive art collector, Annenberg bequeathed his collection, valued at more than $1 billion, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 1990, he donated $50 million to the United Negro College Fund.

The longtime publisher, philanthropist and diplomat died in 2002, at 94.

For more on Annenberg, click here (http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=annenbergwa).

 

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