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Awardee Profiles - 1996

Patrick J. Leahy, Freedom of Speech Award
John S. Hendricks, American Horizon Award
James H. Quello, Special Guest

Patrick J. Leahy, Recipient of the Freedom of Speech Award

The Media Institute created the Freedom of Speech Award to recognize individuals who share the Institute1s belief in the First Amendment, and who have made important contributions to the protection and advancement of free speech.

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy has fought for the First Amendment on the newest battleground of free speech -- cyberspace. Known on Capitol Hill as the 3cyber senator,? Senator Leahy has crusaded for the protection of privacy rights, copyright restrictions, and freedom of speech on the Internet. In particular, he fought provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that would have established government control over the speech of Internet users.

Born in Montpelier, Vermont, Senator Leahy graduated from Saint Michael1s College in Winooski and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He served for eight years as state1s attorney in Chittenden County. Senator Leahy gained a national reputation for his law enforcement activities, and in 1974 was named one of three outstanding prosecutors in the United States


Senator Leahy has represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate since 1974 and has been re-elected three times. Currently he is a senior member of the Agriculture, Judiciary, and Appropriations committees. Senator Leahy conducts electronic town meetings with Vermonters on the Internet, and was one of the first senators to establish a home page on the World Wide Web.

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John S. Hendricks, Recipient of the American Horizon Award

The American Horizon Award recognizes leadership in promoting the vitality and independence of American media and communications.

As the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications, Inc., John S. Hendricks has distinguished himself as an industry leader and innovator. Mr. Hendricks launched Discovery Channel in 1985, creating America1s first cable network designed to provide documentary programming in the areas of nature, science and technology, history, human adventure, and world exploration.

Today Discovery Channel serves 98.5 million subscribers in 146 countries. It is part of Discovery Communications, Inc., a Bethesda-based company that operates four business units: Discovery Networks U.S. (Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, and Animal Planet); Discovery Networks International; Discovery Enterprises Worldwide (multimedia, on-line, video, publishing, and educational ventures); and Discovery Channel Retail and Theme (including 113 stores of The Nature Company). Previously, Mr. Hendricks founded the American Association of University Consultants (AAUC) and served as the group1s president. Mr. Hendricks is chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Cable Programming, and is a member of numerous professional and educational organizations.

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James H. Quello, Special Guest

For the past 22 years, the Federal Communications Commission has benefited from the knowledge, common sense, and good humor of James H. Quello. Commissioner Quello was first appointed to the FCC in 1974 and has served a total of four terms under both Democratic and Republican presidents. His tenure included a stint as interim chairman in 1993.

Commissioner Quello started his broadcast career at WJR-AM in Detroit, rising from promotion manager to vice president and general manager. After the station was acquired by Capital Cities Broadcasting he became station manager of the WJR division and served as a Capital Cities vice president.

Commissioner Quello has long been active in civic affairs and has received numerous awards for his community service. He has also received dozens of industry accolades, including the Michigan Association of Broadcasters1 Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Association of Broadcasters1 Distinguished Service Award.

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