Medal For Muhammad Ali

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina, Nov 3- Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who defied the US government when he refused to fight in Vietnam four decades ago, is to received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civil award.
Champion golfer Jack Nicklaus and retiring Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and others will also get the medal at a ceremony conducted by US President George W Bush next week.
The medal was established in 1963.
It is awarded for contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, or cultural or other significant endeavours.
Greenspan, who is scheduled to retire on January 31 after 18 years as Fed chief, has been an extraordinary leader who has made great contributions to America's economic growth and prosperity,'' the White House said in the announcement from Mar del Plata, Argentina, where Bush is attending the Summit of the Americas. Ali, the first three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, was called one of the greatest athletes of all time.’’
General Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was lauded for preparing the armed forces for new threats in one of the most dangerous periods in American history, including the Iraq War.
His tenure was marked by the toppling of brutal dictatorships in Afghanistan and Iraq and the liberation of more than 50 million people,'' the White House said. Also to receive the medal is Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered people at the hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Mr Rusesabagina’s selfless acts have inspired millions, and he represents the best of the human spirit,’’ the White House said.
Others who will be awarded the medal are entertainer Carol Burnett, software code designers Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, historian Robert Conquest, singer Aretha Franklin, actor Andy Griffith, radio personality Paul Harvey, former congressman Sonny Montgomery, and baseball player Frank Robinson.