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Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom

Michael Novak

Michael Novak (1933-2017) was an anti-soviet, American Catholic philosopher, scholar, and professor who championed the free market economy and democratic capitalism. He served as the U.S. Human Rights Ambassador to the United Nations in the 1980s, and was part of the U.S. delegation for the Helsinki Accords. He was also a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, an anti-communist faction within the Democratic Party in the United States. While identifying as a Democrat, his work and theories won praise from liberal and conservative politicians alike, as well as from foreign leaders including former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II. Citing his work as a human rights ambassador, the presidents of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland each granted him the highest award their countries could give. Novak authored more than 40 books during his lifetime, the most famous of which was The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation awarded him the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom in 2003.