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Zachary Fisher

Fisher passed away just three months before The American Legion honored him with the Distinguished Service Medal, for his successful efforts to help the families of hospitalized veterans. National Commander Butch L. Miller called Fisher "a truly great American ... What he accomplished in his lifetime will be forever remembered in the history books but even more so in the lives that he touched."

A New York real-estate developer, Fisher and his wife, Elizabeth, founded Fisher House program in 1990 to provide temporary housing for family members who couldn't afford lodging while visiting loved ones in military and VA hospitals.

Unable to serve in the military because of a leg injury, Fisher used his building skills to help with coastal fortifications during World War II. The longtime philanthropist also funded a campaign to make USS Intrepid, a World War II aircraft carrier, the nation's largest naval museum. Today, the ship is part of the Intrepid Sea, Air &Space Museum in New York City.

When Elizabeth was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1995, Fisher and David Rockefeller founded the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research at Rockefeller University. President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal in 1995.Three simple words are etched on Fisher's tomb: "Builder ... Philanthropist ... Patriot".

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