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Public Statements

Honoring Jack Valenti

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

HONORING JACK VALENTI -- (Extensions of Remarks - June 26, 2007)

* Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, yesterday the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 361, honoring the life of Jack Valenti. I rise today to express support for that resolution and to join in honoring Jack's life and accomplishments.

* Mr. Speaker, Jack Valenti was the poster child for what it means to be a great American. Jack was a true patriot and served our country valiantly as a pilot in the armed forces during World War II, where he flew over 50 combat missions. He later served as special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson during the tumultuous period in American history following the assassination of President Kennedy.

* Following his public service, he became president of the Motion Picture Association of America, where he instituted the first movie rating system, which gave parents more information about the content of movies. It is during his tenure at the MPAA that I came to know and become friends with Jack.

* One thing that always impressed me about Jack was his commitment to serving others. I remember a recent story I heard about Jack where he gave a lesson to a waiter at one of his favorite local restaurants. He told the waiter how important it was to remember the particulars of his clients, including their names and what they like to order. It is with this attention to detail that he succeeded in his mission of educating Members of Congress about the importance of copyright laws and the details of the motion picture industry.

* Jack's policy was to return every call from every person who contacted him. He also emphasized the importance of telling the truth in all circumstances. These attributes explain why both those who agreed with and disagreed with his policy positions respected Jack and his work.

* I am indebted to Jack for befriending this green, freshman lawmaker back in 1993, and treating me with the same respect and kindness that he would give a President.

* I join with all Members of this House to send my deepest condolences to Jack's family and also to honor and celebrate the life and accomplishments of Jack Valenti.

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