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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair Will Receive 2018 Lincoln Leadership Prize For a Lifetime of Service in the Lincoln Tradition

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SOURCE Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF)

Philip Lader, former United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, will present the award to Mr. Blair at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation's April 24 gala

CHICAGO, April 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF) will award its prestigious Lincoln Leadership Prize to Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair during a gala event in Chicago April 24. Mr. Blair – the first British citizen to receive the coveted prize – is widely recognized for his stewardship of the United Kingdom through an especially important period in its history.  

As the longest serving Labour Prime Minister (1997 to 2007), Mr. Blair guided the Northern Ireland peace process to the Good Friday Agreement, which was signed 20 years ago last week, bringing the country together after decades of conflict. Throughout Mr. Blair's tenure he prioritized legislation that transformed the lives of UK citizens.

Since leaving office, Mr. Blair has spent most of his time working in the Middle East and Africa, and on the fight against religiously based extremism. The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is supporting the next generation of leaders to meet some of the most difficult challenges they face today: helping countries alleviate poverty, raise living standards, foster religious and cultural tolerance, and advance peace and reconciliation. The Institute is also driving forward practical policy solutions to meet some of these challenges and re-kindle a vision of optimism for the future.

Mr. Blair will add the Lincoln Leadership Prize to other honors he has received including the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Liberty Medal. He also was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME magazine in 2008.

"We are delighted to honor Mr. Blair with the Lincoln Leadership Prize," said Ray McCaskey, Chair of the ALPLF Board of Directors. "He embodies the kind of leadership that President Lincoln would have recognized and appreciated. President Lincoln and Mr. Blair both led their countries through tumultuous times. Yet, they remained singularly focused on the policies that would strengthen their countries and improve the lives of their constituents in the long term."

Former United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom Philip Lader, who served as ambassador during a portion of Mr. Blair's tenure as Prime Minister, will present the Lincoln Leadership Prize to Mr. Blair. Ambassador Lader is a Senior Adviser to Morgan Stanley and Palantir Technologies. Formerly a member of President Clinton's Cabinet and White House Deputy Chief of Staff, he served on the boards of the British Museum, Smithsonian Museum of American History and American Red Cross. He also founded Renaissance Weekends.

"One of the greatest lessons from Abraham Lincoln's legacy is that the popular option is not always the best choice," said Lader. "Tony Blair understands that lesson all too well and has never shied away from making difficult decisions. Before, during and after his time on Downing Street, Tony has honored his commitment to serve and fight for the citizens of the United Kingdom and people all over the world. It is my belief that, had their tenures overlapped, our 16th president would have respected Tony not just as a leader, but also as a friend."     

The Lincoln Leadership Prize is an annual award that recognizes outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The award honors individuals who manifest great strength of character, individual conscience and unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy. Previous honorees include Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Civil Rights Activists The Little Rock Nine, Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Journalist Tim Russert, Astronaut James Lovell, Jr., Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

The annual event serves as the primary fundraiser for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation for the benefit of the Museum and Library, which does not receive any federal funding. For more information about the Lincoln Leadership Prize please visit www.alplm.org. For tickets and/or table sponsorship information please call 312/553-2000.

About the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation supports the collections and the educational and cultural programming of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; fosters Lincoln scholarship through the acquisition and publication of documentary materials relating to Lincoln and his era; and promotes a greater appreciation of history through exhibits, conferences, publications, online services, and other activities designed to promote historical literacy.

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