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Newsmaker: Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg, well-known for leaking the Pentagon papers, a 7,000- page document detailing how the Vietnam War was planned, has received the Ron Ridenhour Courage Award at the National Press Club.

Daniel Ellsberg, well-known for leaking the Pentagon papers, a 7,000- page document detailing how the Vietnam War was planned, has received the Ron Ridenhour Courage Award at the National Press Club.

Ellsberg has been arrested three times since December in protests against the war in Iraq. He's been arrested about 70 times in all, and jailed 50, by his reckoning.

Early years: Ellsberg was born April 7, 1931, in Detroit. He attended Harvard University, then served as a company commander in the U.S. Marine Corps for two years. He returned to Harvard to complete his doctoral degree in economics.

Career: In 1959, Ellsberg joined the RAND Corp.'s Economics Department as an analyst, and in 1964 he was recruited to serve in the Pentagon under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. In 1971, he leaked the classified Pentagon papers to the press.

The government indicted Ellsberg for giving the papers to the press. In 1973, it was discovered that President Nixon had authorized White House aides to burglarize Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in an attempt to discredit him. The charges against Ellsberg were dismissed.

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Ellsberg's newest book is "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers."

Personal: Ellsberg married (and later divorced) the daughter of a Marine colonel. In 1968, he met an Indian woman who introduced him to the Ghandian philosophy of civil disobedience. Later, on his first date with his current wife, Patricia Marx, she took him to a rally against the Vietnam War. Ellsberg and his wife have three children.

In his words: "It is a tribute to the American people that our leaders perceived that they had to lie to us; it is not a tribute to us that we were so easily misled."

Web link: www.ellsberg.net/bio.htm

Compiled by Carol Bradley Bursack

Sources: Onpower.org, Independent.org

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