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August 17, 2004

Press Contact: Jodi Bart, UT Law, 512-471-7330

Lebowitz Receives Legion of Honor Medal for WWII Service

Emeritus professor recognized for his part in the August 15, 1944 invasion of southern France

AUSTIN, Texas — On August 15 in a ceremony held in the American Cemetery in Draguignan, France, Leon Lebowitz, UT-Austin School of Law's Joseph Hutcheson Professor Emeritus in Law, received France's Legion of Honor medal sixty years after he, and the U.S. 3rd Infantry division, invaded southern France to provide support to troops already in Normandy. He, and ten others, were honored by the French government with the Legion of Honor, France's highest award given for outstanding service to France. It is widely considered one of Europe's most prestigious civic honors.

Lebowtiz, 82, served in the U.S. 3rd Infantry division. His company stormed the shore and fought from house to house in urban warfare in the Rhone valley and Colmar, France. Three of his group died while crossing a field of land mines. He later entered Germany and participated in the takeover of Munich, prior to his discharge from the army in December 1945.

This report was compiled with the assistance of the Austin American-Statesman's August 14, 2004 report, "A Hero in France" by Rachel Makabi.

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Excerpts from Leon Lebowitz's Journal: