“James V. Day Good Guy Award”
Past Department Commanders’ Club
The American Legion

The “Good Guy Award” began in 1970 and is awarded by the Past Department Commanders’ Club (PDCC) at the American Legion’s national convention. It seeks to honor those who, though busy in their specialties, feel the need to work for and on behalf of others, and participate in the betterment of society (Source: American Legion News Service, Sept. 1, 1972).

Up to 1985, the award was known as the “Good Guy Award.” At the 1985 national convention it was renamed the “James V. Day Good Guy Award” in honor of one of the PDCC founders. This change in name took effect with the 1986 award.

1970 Ray Bell/George Jessel (co-winners)
1971 Bob Considine (Journalist)
1972 James F. O’Neil (Past National Commander)
1973 Richard G. Kleindienst (Attorney General under Richard Nixon)
1974 Jackie Gleason (Comedian, Actor)
1975 William Conrad (Actor)
1976 Vernon “Lefty” Gomez (Baseball Player)
1977 Robert Stack (Actor)
1978 Milton Caniff (Cartoonist - "Steve Canyon"), Mort Walker (Cartoonist - “Beetle Bailey”) (co-winners)
1979 Leon Jaworski (Watergate Special Prosecutor)
1980 Sam Sneed (Golfer)
1981 Jack Lord (Actor)
1982 George Halas (Chicago Bears Founder)
1983 Keith Jackson (Sportscaster)
1984 Merlin J. Olsen (Actor, Sportscaster, Former Football Star)
1985 James V. Day (re-established the PDCC)
1986 Ken Anderson (Football Player, Cincinnati Bengals)
1987 Brig. Gen. Charles M. Duke Sr., USAF (Apollo 16 Astronaut)
1988 Foster Brooks (Comedian)
1989 Mickey Lee Tettleton (Baltimore Orioles)
1990 Richard “Digger” Phelps (Notre Dame Basketball Coach)
1991 Barry Goldwater (United States Senator)
1992 Paul Harvey (News Radio Host)
1993 Arnold Palmer (Pro Golfer)
1994 Murray Warmath (Coach, University of Minnesota Gopher Football)
1995 Carl Erskine (Baseball Player)
1996 Gordon Hinckley (President of Mormon Church)
1997 Bowie K. Kuhn (Commissioner of Baseball)
1998 The Most Rev. Philip M. Hannan (New Orleans Archbishop)
1999 Tommy Lasorda (Baseball Coach)
2000 Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady, USA (retired) (Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient)
2001 David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)
2002 The Osmond Family (Children’s Miracle Network Founders)
2003 August A. Busch III (Chairman, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.)
2004 Dolly Parton (Country Music Entertainer)
2005 Daniel Inouye (United States Senator from Hawaii)
2006 John Andretti (NASCAR Driver)
2007 Rick Monday (Major League Baseball Player)
2008 Tom Sneva (INDYCAR Driver)
2009 The Hon. Jim Bunning (United States Senator from Kentucky)
2010 Allan H. (Bud) Selig (Commissioner of Baseball)
2011 Associate Justice Alan C. Page (Minnesota Supreme Court)
2012 Max B. Schumacher (Chairman of the Board, Indianapolis Indians Baseball)
2013 George Foreman (Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist)
2014 Richard Petty (NASCAR Driver)
2015 Joe Torre (All-Star MLB Player, Hall of Fame MLB Manager, MLB Executive VP)
2016 Johnny Bench (MLB Hall of Fame Player)
2017 Joe Morgan (Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer)
2018 Theodore Roosevelt IV (American Legion 100th Anniversary Honorary Committee Chairman)
2019 Lou Holtz (Hall of Fame College Football Coach)
2020 No Award Given
2021 Mark Eaton (NBA Player) (posthumous)