Awarded: April 2000
(Feb. 16, 1904 - March 17, 2005)
George Kennan has been a significant leader in American diplomacy and intellectual life since the 1930s. He rose to prominence in American foreign policy as the author of the containment policy with regard to the Soviet Union. He held posts as a policy maker with the Department of State and as U.S. ambassador to the former U.S.S.R. For more than 50 years, his diplomatic dispatches and political and historical writings have enriched and enlivened American public debates.