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Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom

William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008), once called “the most influential journalist and intellectual of our era” by President Ronald Reagan, is considered the father of the modern American conservative movement. Buckley spent his career advocating for doctrines of conservatism—such as anti-communism, military strength, social order, and capitalism—through his many different media outlets. Throughout his career, Buckley was an editor, columnist, television and radio host, and novelist. In 1955, he established the magazine National Review that has continued to influence conservative thinkers in the United States. In its early stages, the magazine used its platform to criticize U.S. policies that were perceived as not aligned with America’s true values or as concessions to communism. In addition to the National Review Buckley also published the column “On the Right,” hosted the “Firing Line” for 33 years, and published numerous novels. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush awarded Buckley with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for an outstanding career in journalism, and in 2007 the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation awarded him with the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.