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Reproduction and Family Health
October 26, 1996
As I think back upon the major public health campaigns of the past twenty years, one public figure comes repeatedly to mind
-- someone who, time and time again, fought the good fight tirelessly and persistently. That person is you.
During your tenure as Surgeon General, you became the nation's leader on a range of critical health care issues -- AIDS
prevention, the dangers of smoking, children's health and drug education.
You spoke out loudly and clearly in support of public health, even in the face of strong opposition. You bravely took on the
well-financed and politically powerful tobacco industry and declared nicotine addictive.
But your work on behalf of America's health did not end with your tenure as Surgeon General and is still going strong
today. Your "Shape Up America" campaign, an effort to encourage more physical activity, is evidence of your ongoing
commitment to children's health. The same is true of your continued anti-tobacco crusade, most recently embodied in your
support of the President's plan to cut teen smoking in half.
It has been an honor and pleasure to work with you over the years toward common goals and I look forward to future collaboration.
I thank you, on behalf of the American people, for your visionary leadership and boundless energy and join your many colleagues
and friends gathered together for today's celebration in wishing you a very happy eightieth birthday.