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|Ron Kovic at an anti-war rally in Los Angeles, California on October 12, 2007.|
|Birthday/Birthplace||Ronald Lawrence Kovic
July 4, 1946 (1946-07-04)
Ladysmith, Wisconsin, US
|Profession(s)||Political and peace activist, author, writer, Marine|
Ronald Ron L. Kovic (No. Ladysmith, Wisconsin, July 4, 1946) is an anti-war activist, veteran of the Vietnam War and American writer. He is known mainly as the author of the memoir Born on July 4, in which he recounts his experience in Vietnam and how he became paralyzed from the waist down due to a bullet wound. The film adaptation of the book in 1989, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise, won an Academy Award in the category of Best Direction. Kovic received the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay on January 20, 1990, exactly 22 years after his accident in the war. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Musician Bruce Springsteen wrote the song “Shut Out The Light” after reading Kovic’s book and meeting him. Tom Paxton, singer and political activist, wrote about the song “He was born on the fourth of July”, which is on his album New Songs from the Briarpatch. Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda has stated that Ron Kovic’s story was the inspiration for his film Coming Home.
Ron Kovic’s Biography
Kovic was born in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, and grew up in Massapequa, New York. He was decorated by the United States Navy for serving two terms of service in the Vietnam War, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with “V” value device and the Purple Heart. In combat on January 20, 1968, he was shot and suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He became one of the best-known peace activists among veterans of the war. Kovic has been arrested for political protest twelve times. In early 1989, Tom Cruise showed up with his Bronze Star medal on the last day of shooting on Born on the Fourth of July to explain how he won the award for his “courageous image of the true horrors of war.” < / p>
Oliver Stone told Time magazine that Kovic gave the medal to Tom for the courage to have gone through this experience in hell as much as anyone can without having been there.
In 1974, Kovic took a disabled wheelchair group, Veterans of Vietnam, to a 17-day hunger strike inside the office of Senator Alan Cranston in Los Angeles. The veterans protested the poor treatment they gave in the American War Veterans hospitals and demanded a better deal for the return of the veterans, in a complete investigation of all the Veterans Affairs and their facilities, and a face to face with Chief Donald E. Johnson it was revealed that the strike continued on such a scale that Johnson finally had to leave Washington DC, and meet with the veterans. The hunger strike ended shortly after that. Several months later Johnson resigned.
Kovic was a speaker at the 1976 Democratic National Convention, in support of Fritz Efaw’s candidacy for vice president of the United States. Kovic was openly critical of the Iraq war. In November 2003, he joined the protests in London against the visit of George W. Bush. He was the guest of honor at a peace reception held at the London City Hall by Mayor Ken Livingstone. The next day, he led a march of several hundred thousand demonstrators in Trafalgar Square, in a huge demonstration held in protest of the visit of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.
The scar will always be there for life and will always remind me of that war, but it has also become beautiful, in faith, in hope and in love.have been given the opportunity to spend my soul through a night to a new earth, to gain an understanding and the knowledge of a totally different vision. They believe me now thathave suffered for a reason and in many wayshave found the reason for my commitment to peace and nonviolence. My life has been a hidden blessing, even with the pain and the great difficulty of knowing that my physical disability continues. It is a blessing to speak in the name of peace, in order to reach a large number of people.Ronald L. Kovic, March 2005
In March 2007, Kovic was hospitalized in the Spinal Cord Injury Dr. Ernst Bors (Ernst Bors Spinal Cord Injury) ward of the Veterans Hospital Administration in Long Beach, California, for an undisclosed illness.
On January 20, 2008 Ron Kovic commemorated the fortieth anniversary of being paralyzed by shots in the Vietnam War.
More Facts about Ron Kovic
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