Fed lawmakers request medal for Youngstown native Simeon Booker
YOUNGSTOWN — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and Ohio’s two U.S. senators are urging President Barack Obama to award Youngstown son and black journalist Simeon Booker Jr. with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the president.
“Simeon Booker surely deserves this prestigious award. Throughout his long and illustrious career, Booker risked his own safety to bring groundbreaking coverage of the civil-rights movement and the Vietnam War to the American people, and in doing so forever changed our nation for the better. Simeon Booker has devoted his life’s work to breaking barriers and changing the hearts and minds of all those he touched through his writing. He is a true American hero,” Ryan, of Howland, D-13th, said in a news release.
The letter to President Obama was signed by U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, Maryland senators and 31 members of the House of Representatives.
Booker grew up on the city’s South Side and graduated from South High School in 1938. He entered Youngstown College, but left it to attend Virginia Union University after he discovered that because he is black, he couldn’t participate in any student social activities.
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