May. 13 1998
Washington, DC - Florida Governor Lawton Chiles will receive the Mike Synar Memorial Public Service Award today in honor of his tireless efforts to protect Florida’s children from tobacco addiction and death. The Synar Award, presented by the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and more than 25 co-sponsoring organizations, is given annually to an outstanding American who has demonstrated a special commitment to protecting the public’s health from the deadly effects of tobacco. U.S. Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), a former Florida Governor who has known Gov. Chiles for more than three decades and will present him with the award at tonight’s ceremony, praised the Governor for taking risks to protect children from smoking. "Lawton Chiles displayed enormous courage when he launched the effort to shield young Floridians from the dangers of tobacco," said Graham. "He fought stiff odds, but he persevered -- and Florida’s children won." "We commend Governor Chiles for his efforts to protect the children of Florida from tobacco," CAMPAIGN President Bill Novelli said. "Not only has he demonstrated great personal commitment to protecting kids against Big Tobacco, he is a national leader in the fight to hold tobacco companies accountable for the illness and premature death of those they addict." Mike Synar, for whom the award was named, was a U.S. Congressman who represented Oklahoma from 1979 to 1994. A crusader for political reform and an individual who demonstrated great personal integrity, Rep. Synar was a leader in the fight against tobacco. Gov. Chiles’ name was added to a respected roster of previous Synar Award recipients selected for their outstanding tobacco control achievements. Past honorees include President Bill Clinton (1996) and Vice President Al Gore (1997).