1981, "Meet the Press"

The longest-running TV series in American history was honored for reflecting during its programs the Legion’s own commitment to free speech, debate and presenting all sides of an issue. Producer Betty Cole Dukert and producer/moderator Bill Monroe accepted the award on behalf of their show.
For more information on the program, click here (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3403008/ns/meet_the_press-about_us/?ns=meet_...).

1982, Sarah McClendon

The columnist, White House correspondent and World War II veteran (in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps) was honored for her long-standing commitment to transparency between the government and the press. McClendon was a member of the National Press Club Legion post.
For more information on McClendon, click here (http://library.uttyler.edu/documents/mcclendon/biography.html).

1983, Eunice Kennedy Shriver

The founder and president of Special Olympics was hospitalized and unable to accept her award. Her husband, Sargent Shriver, did so on her behalf. Local Legion posts were heavily involved with Special Olympics from the beginning.
For more information on Shriver, click here (http://www.eunicekennedyshriver.org/bios/eks).

1984, "Real People"

George J. Schlatter, executive producer of the NBC series, accepted the award on behalf of his show and network. Schlatter used his speech to urge Legionnaires to write to all the different media platforms, to advocate a more balanced and respectful representation of American veterans.
For more information about the program, click here (http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/shows/real-people).

1985, ABC Sports

The network division was presented with the award for its coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, which promoted the pride and patriotism of the United States at an event which numerous Communist countries boycotted, in response to the U.S.-led boycotting of the 1980 games in Moscow. Donna de Varona, a former Olympic swimmer and ABC Sports analyst, accepted the award on behalf of ABC Sports President Roone Arledge.
For more information on the 1984 Games, click here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_Summer_Olympic_Games).

1986, John Walsh

Walsh was honored for his tireless efforts to draw more attention to the problems of missing and abused children in the United States, after the abduction and murder of his own young son in 1980. A TV movie based on Adam Walsh’s story, “Adam,” had recently aired.
For more information on Walsh, click here (http://www.biography.com/articles/John-Walsh-9542164).

1987, William J. Bennett

The Secretary of Education was presented with the award for his dedication, as part of his office, to fighting drugs, as well as to visiting American schools to promote students’ learning of the differences between communism and democracy.
For more information on Bennett, click here (http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ba-Be/Bennett-William.html).

1988, La Prensa

The Nicaraguan newspaper (“The Press”), based in Managua, was honored for its open opposition to the ruling Sandinista party. Due to that opposition, no one from the newspaper’s staff made the trip to accept the award, for fear of reprisal. National Commander John P. Comer made a speech in the staff’s absence.
For more information on La Prensa, click here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Prensa_(Managua)).

1989, Lee Greenwood

The country-music singer was presented with the award for his popular song “God Bless the USA,” as well as for his efforts on behalf of Vietnam POW/MIAs and his work with the USO.
For more information on Greenwood, click here (http://www.leegreenwood.com/index.php?p=360).

1990, Richard Severo and Lewis Milford

The author and the attorney were honored for the book they co-wrote, “The Wages of War,” which chronicled the mistreatment of American veterans from the Revolutionary to the Vietnam War. During the acceptance speech, Severo related the book’s subject matter to the government’s handling of the Agent Orange issue - a deep concern of the Legion's.
For more on the book, click here (http://articles.latimes.com/1989-06-21/news/vw-2465_1_america-s-wars-ame...).