For Immediate Release: April 13, 2015
Further information: Rachel Flor (617) 514-1662, firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON, MA –The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation today announced that former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis (R-SC) was named the 2015 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award™ for political courage. Inglis is being awarded this honor for the courage he demonstrated when reversing his position on climate change after extensive briefings with scientists, and discussions with his children, about the impact of atmospheric warming on our future. Knowing the potential consequences to his political career, Inglis nevertheless called on the United States to meaningfully address the issue. In June, 2010, Inglis lost his re-election to the U.S. Congress. The prestigious award for political courage will be presented by Jack Schlossberg, President Kennedy’s grandson, at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on May 3, 2015.
"Bob Inglis is a visionary and courageous leader who believes, as President Kennedy once said, that 'no problem of human destiny is beyond human beings,’” said Schlossberg. “In reversing his own position and breaking with his party to acknowledge the realities of a changing climate and its threat to human progress, he displayed the courage to keep an open mind and uphold his responsibilities as a leader and citizen at the expense of his own political career. His evolution in thought, brave stand and continued dedication to tackling the single biggest environmental and humanitarian crisis of our time inspires us all."
Bob Inglis represented the 4th Congressional District of South Carolina from 1993-1998 and again from 2005-2010. A member of the House Science Committee who served as Ranking Member of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, Inglis initially opposed efforts to address climate change. But interactions with scientists in Antarctica, Australia and elsewhere, along with encouragement from his five children, changed his views on climate change, and he began advocating for a carbon tax to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In Washington and South Carolina, Inglis’s acknowledgment of the scientific reality of climate change drew intense criticism from within the Republican Party, and in June 2010, he was defeated for re-election in the Republican primary. He went on to found and currently directs the Energy & Enterprise Initiative to encourage conservatives to accept the reality of climate change and to promote market-based innovations to address the challenges it poses.
The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award is presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences. The award is named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers, incurring the wrath of constituents or powerful interest groups, by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation created the Profile in Courage Award™ in 1989 to honor President Kennedy’s commitment and contribution to public service. It is presented in May in celebration of President Kennedy’s May 29th birthday. The Profile in Courage Award is represented by a sterling-silver lantern symbolizing a beacon of hope. The lantern was designed by Edwin Schlossberg and crafted by Tiffany & Co. Previous recipients include former U.S. President George H. W. Bush; Gabrielle Giffords, former U.S. Representative; Liberian peace activist and Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee; Hilda Solis, former California state senator and U.S. Secretary of Labor; U.S. Representative John Lewis; and Brooksley Born, former chair, Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The recipients of this prestigious award for political courage are selected by a distinguished bipartisan committee of national, political, and community leaders: Albert R. Hunt, columnist for Bloomberg View, chairs the 14-member Profile in Courage Award Committee. Committee members are Christopher Dodd, former U.S. Senator (D-Connecticut) and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America; U.S. Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-Maryland); Kenneth R. Feinberg, Chairman of the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; Adam Frankel, former speechwriter to President Barack Obama, now Vice-President of External Affairs at Andela; U.S. Senator Lindsey O. Graham (R-South Carolina); Antonia Hernandez, president and chief executive officer of the California Community Foundation; Elaine Jones, director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Paul G. Kirk Jr., former U.S. Senator (D-Massachusetts) and Chairman Emeritus of the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Shari Redstone, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Viacom Inc. and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of CBS Corporation; Jack Schlossberg, grandson of John F. Kennedy and student, Yale University; David M. Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; and former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Heather P. Campion, CEO of the Kennedy Library Foundation, is an ex officio member of the Committee.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization founded in 1984 with the purpose of carrying President Kennedy’s legacy forward. The Foundation aims to inspire and engage both Americans and people throughout the world with his timeless vision of public service, civic responsibility, civil rights, scientific discovery and creative cultural pursuits and ideals of peace, optimism and service, so they may learn how to translate them into action. As a major part of this mission, the Foundation supports the work of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, whose core function is to collect, preserve, and make available for research, the documents, audiovisual material and memorabilia of President Kennedy, his family, and his contemporaries. Today, the Kennedy Library in Boston is one of the most visited of the 13 presidential libraries in America. Over 200,000 people from around the globe visit the museum each year, and the Foundation serves 25,000 students annually through a host of free educational programs.