April 21, 2012
SAN DIEGO , April 21, 2012 – Midge Decter and Norman Podhoretz, two pioneers of the neoconservative movement, tonight were honored by The Heritage Foundation, the internationally influential think tank that applies conservative principles to develop solutions for public policy problems.
Heritage Board Chairman Thomas A. Saunders and President Edwin J. Feulner presented the Clare Boothe Luce Award to both Decter and Podhoretz at a dinner ceremony during Heritage’s annual Leadership Conference and Board Meeting at the Grand Del Mar resort.
Saunders praised the husband-and-wife team (liberals as young adults, they married in 1956) as “intellectual lights who burn all the brighter because they have never lost sight of human nature and human needs.”
Heritage’s highest honor, the Clare Boothe Luce Award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the conservative movement in America. Past recipients include Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and William F. Buckley.
Decter, a noted author, journalist and social critic, has written on everything from feminism to foreign affairs—“always with common sense and rapier wit,” Feulner said. A senior fellow in the 1990s at the Institute on Religion and Public Life in New York City, she has served on Heritage’s Board of Trustees for more than 30 years.
Podhoretz, an influential essayist, journalist and author of 10 books, is best known as editor-in-chief of Commentary magazine, a position he held for 35 years until his retirement in 1995. He then served for eight years as senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he remains an adjunct fellow. He co-founded the Committee on the Present Danger in the mid-1970s.
In addition to “advancing and uplifting decades of public debate with their compelling arguments,” Decter and Podhoretz have been “institutional builders” of the conservative movement, Feulner said. He cited Decter’s role in founding the Committee for the Free World and the Independent Women’s Forum, as well as her “invaluable counsel” as a board member of Heritage and an advisory council member for the Center for Security Policy.
Podhoretz, Feulner noted, transformed Commentary into “the flagship of American neoconservatism and an unwavering champion of democracy and freedom worldwide.” (In 2009, the couple’s son, journalist and author John Podhoretz, assumed the editorship of Commentary.)
Heritage established its highest award in 1991 in memory of Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987), the celebrated journalist, playwright, congresswoman and diplomat known as a fiscal conservative and opponent of international communism.
The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s most broadly supported public policy research institute, with nearly 700,000 individual, foundation and corporate donors. Founded in 1973, it develops public policy solutions that advance free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and a strong national defense.