Easterbrook: Greatest Living American Ignored

By July 18, 2007Media Relations

Gregg Easterbrook, writing after yesterday’s events on Capitol Hill.

Today in Washington I was in the room as the greatest living American received a medal. George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi and others were present. But will you ever hear this event occurred? To judge from tonight’s major network evening newscasts, perhaps not. Cameras were allowed at the ceremony but I saw none from the major networks, though the international press was significantly represented. And will you recognize this great man’s name when I say it?

The greatest living American is Norman Borlaug, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, and joins Jimmy Carter as the two living American-born laureates around whose necks this distinction as been placed. Do you know Borlaug’s achievement? Would you recognize him if he sat on your lap? Norman Borlaug WON THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, yet is anonymous in the land of his birth.

We justified to ourselves yesterday’s posting on Borlaug with the thought the Green Revolution he inspired had an incredible impact on manufacturing in the United States, e.g. R&D, the food processing industry, just for start.

But the real reason we paid note, and tribute, was the same as Easterbrook’s: Borlaug is the greatest living American.

(Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds, who has some other thoughts on doing good through technology.)

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