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2003 Volvo For Life Awards Program Judges ... and their definitions of a hero





...and their definitions of a hero


In the inaugural year of the Volvo for Life Awards, a distinguished panel of eight judges have selected the program's three winners. The judges are:

  • Hank Aaron, who as one of the first African-Americans admitted into Major League Baseball hit an all-time leading 755 home runs; Aaron founded "Chasing the Dream Foundation," which provides cash awards to help children pursue their talents.
  • Bill Bradley, former senator, Rhodes scholar and former star athlete; before serving 20 years as a New Jersey senator, Bradley led the New York Knicks to two NBA championships and took the 1964 Olympic basketball team to a gold medal.
  • Dr. Jane Goodall, a primatologist and humanitarian who founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation; Goodall also is a United Nations Messenger of Peace traveling the world to advocate for global peace and environmental preservation.
  • Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, and a successful lawyer, author and constitutional scholar; Kennedy also serves as chief fund raiser for the New York City schools.
  • Maya Lin, a contemporary Chinese-American artist and architect who has created numerous sculptures, environmental artworks, architectural projects and memorials, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • Paul Newman, the quintessential actor and star of such celebrated films as "Cool Hand Luke" and "Road to Perdition;" Newman has donated $125 million in after tax profits from his "Newman's Own" line of sauces and dressings to thousands of charities.
  • Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space and a pioneer in the field of astrophysics; among Ride's heartfelt crusades: encouraging women to study science and math.
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver, an activist for individuals with mental retardation and creator of the Special Olympics; Shriver also established the Community of Caring program, designed to prevent teen pregnancy.


"Volvo is honored to have this incredible group of individuals select the winners of our first-ever Volvo for Life Awards," said Vic Doolan, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of North America. "Our judges have on their own given vast amounts of energy to public service and have made this world a better place with their unique talents. They demonstrate on a global scale the conscience, care and character of the heroes we have found and are celebrating on a local level."


Defining a Hero


How does a hero define a hero? Volvo asked each of the program judges to offer his or her definitions....

  • Hank Aaron: "A hero is one who by his life's work and service to his family, friends, and to his community, commands the highest respect and adulation."
  • Bill Bradley: "A hero is someone who understands weakness, as well as strength, and finds the balance that allows true leadership."
  • Dr. Jane Goodall: "A hero is someone who has the courage to pursue a course of action that they believe to be right, even in the face of opposition and personal danger."
  • Caroline Kennedy: "There are many kinds of heroes, those who ask of themselves, those who serve others, and those who inspire all around them to create a better world."
  • Maya Lin: "A hero is a person who, oftentimes against adversity is willing to give their heart for the benefit of others."
  • Paul Newman: "A hero is difficult to define. It depends upon what there is to be heroic about. A soldier in Iraq is one kind of heroism and a child with an incurable disease fighting to manage a smile has heroism on his side, as well."
  • - Dr. Sally Ride: "A hero is a person who decides to act courageously to benefit another."
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver: "A hero is one who discovers human beings suffering from mental handicaps, or abuse, or discrimination, and creates for them a new community of joy, family caring and responsibility."

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Eric Davis, Haberman & Associates, 612-338-3900,

Sören Johansson, Volvo Cars of North America, 949-341-6719,

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