Local leader receives highest civilian honor - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ursula Madden

Local leader receives highest civilian honor

On Monday, the President of the United States will honor Memphis's own Dr. Benjamin Hooks with the highest honor a civilian can receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Hooks is the first Memphian to receive the medal.

In the shadow of our nation's capitol, Dr. Benjamin Hooks is savoring the moment. Holding a dinner at the Hotel Washington with family and friends, all on the eve of receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Surrounded by family and friends, Hooks shares this latest accolade but Hooks is quick to tell you that he never sought awards or glory. "Every job I've had I've done it for the people and I thank God that the folk gave me a chance to serve," says Hooks.

Dr. Hooks may have only wanted a chance to serve the folk but the praise has come anyway and those who know him say it's well deserved and overdue.

"It's long overdue, he's extraordinary individual he's had an extraordinary life and he's committed his all to his country. So it's wonderful," says Attorney Bernie Nash.

Hooks' wife Frances adds, "It's such an unexpected and delightful gift to be able to say that the President of the United States recognized you for something that you've been doing for all your lifetime."

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is this country's highest civilian award but friends say look for Ben Hooks to achieve even greater success.

"I'm not going to limit him. I'm sure his next act is going to be better than his last act," says General Counsel for Dupont, Stacey Mobley.

In his lifetime, Dr. Benjamin Hooks has been known as many things: A judge, minister, executive director and a commissioner. And on Monday, he'll be know as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Click here to email Ursula Madden.

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