WASHINGTON – February 27, 2017 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) today presented its Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Joseph A. Califano, Jr, who as chief domestic policy advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson helped draft the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.
The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award is given to political leaders and other individuals who safeguard the ability of local public television stations to provide education, public safety and civic leadership services to their communities.
“Today I am honored to present the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Secretary Joseph Califano, who had a seminal role in the creation of the public broadcasting system as Domestic Policy Advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson and as author of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Secretary Califano was also instrumental in building the remarkably broad bipartisan support for public broadcasting on Capitol Hill that continues to this day. We are profoundly grateful for his vision of the potential for public broadcasting and for his leadership in bringing that vision to life for the benefit of every American. There is no one more deserving of the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award than The Honorable Joseph A. Califano, Jr.”
“I am delighted and honored to receive this award,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr. “Public broadcasting is a unique and essential source of education, civic information and enlightenment for all our people, just as President Johnson and large bipartisan majorities in Congress envisioned. It is also the greatest public-private partnership in the history of the country. For every dollar of federal funding, individuals and private institutions contribute $4, a phenomenal return on investment.”
Joseph A. Califano, Jr. was President Lyndon B. Johnson’s chief domestic aide from 1965 until 1969 and Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) in the Carter Administration from 1977 to 1979. On President Johnson’s White House staff, Califano was responsible for coordinating the legislative program and economic policy and for handling domestic crises. The New York Times called him “Deputy President for Domestic Affairs.”
Califano was born in Brooklyn and received his BA from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and his LLB from Harvard Law School. He is author of 13 books, including The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years, originally published in 1991, and which was republished in 2015 with a new 8,000 word introduction by Califano.
As Secretary of HEW, Califano started the nation’s first national anti-smoking campaign, issued the first regulations to give women equal opportunity under Title IX, to provide an equal opportunity to the handicapped and to make Medicare reimbursement available for hospice care, and directed the public health service to eliminate its official characterization of homosexuality as “a mental disease or defect” which immigration authorities had used to deny individuals entry to the United States solely because of their sexual orientation.
Califano’s book, Inside: A Public and Private Life, published in 2004, was called a “vivid and frank memoir of his remarkable life” by the New York Times and “the most revealing political memoir by a Washington insider since Katherine Graham’s Personal History” by Publisher’s Weekly.
Califano is Founder of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse which he started in 1992, and has practiced law in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Califano and his wife Hilary are parents of five and grandparents of nine. They live in Westport, Connecticut.
The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award was presented to The Honorable Joseph A. Califano, Jr. during The APTS Public Media Summit on Monday, February 27, 2017.
Americas Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system that provides essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.