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"MBS was the greatest experience of my life. I want to thank each and every one of the staff members for giving me a memory that will never be forgotten."

-- Dominic Devonate Jones '11
Waynesville, MO

Press Release

April 2, 2018
For more Information Contact Missouri Boys State


Juan WilliamsWARRENSBURG, MO -- The American Legion Boys State of Missouri is honored to bestow the 2018 Lehr Memorial Chair to Juan Williams. Williams will accept the Lehr Chair on June 19, 2018 during the 79th session of Missouri Boys State.

As a political analyst for Fox News, Juan Williams is at the cutting edge of America’s politics and culture. He is also a regular panelist on Fox News Sunday and the weekday political newscast Special Report with Bret Baier, as well as a regular substitute host for The O'Reilly Factor.

In 2000, NPR selected Williams to host their afternoon talk show, “Talk of The Nation,” and in two years he brought the show’s ratings to record heights. His daring perspectives on American politics, race, and culture are based on his historical understanding, political expertise, and knowledge of diversity.

In addition to his more than ten-year career with NPR, Williams spent 23 years at The Washington Post as a political columnist and national correspondent. During his tenure there, he covered every major political campaign from 1980 to 2000 as a national correspondent and a political columnist.

A recipient of multiple awards for his writing and investigative journalism, Williams also won an Emmy Award for television documentary writing and has received widespread critical acclaim his documentaries Politics: The New Black Power and A. Phillip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom.

In addition to prize-winning columns and editorial writing, he has also authored seven books. His newest is Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate, in which he “uses his very public firing [from NPR] as a launching pad to discuss the countless ways in which honest debate in America…is stifled.”

With the release of his sixth book, Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America and What We Can Do About It, Williams created a national furor and ignited debate everywhere with his point blank analysis of black leadership in the country. He combines a bold, perceptive, solution-based look at African American life, culture, and politics with an impassioned clarion call to do the right thing now and not lose sight of the true values of the Civil Rights Movement.

His previous book, My Soul Looks Back in Wonder, presents stirring, eyewitness accounts of history-making movements for black, Hispanic, and women’s rights, as well as other successes at creating a better America.

Previous books include the nonfiction bestseller Eyes on the Prize and the critically acclaimed biography Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, which The New York Times selected as a notable book of the year. Time magazine described American Revolutionary as a “magisterial” work of American history, and the book was reissued in 2004 with a new epilogue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic Board vs. Brown decision. His other books include I’ll Find a Way or Make One, A History of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and This Far By Faith, a history of the black religious experience in America which was accompanied by a six-part PBS series.


The George W. Lehr Memorial Speakers Chair

The George W. Lehr Memorial Chair was established in 1988 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Missouri Boys State program. The Lehr Chair was created to honor the late Missouri State Auditor George W. Lehr, who was a Boys State participant in his youth and a tireless supporter of Missouri Boys State during his public life.

The Lehr Chair was designed to assist the Boys State program in bringing the finest names in public service and thought leaders to the yearly Boys State session.

Previous George W. Lehr Memorial Chair Speakers

2017 John O. Brennan
Former CIA Director
[press release]

2016 Gov. Jay Nixon
Missouri's 55th Governor from 2009 to 2017 and long-time friend of the Missouri Boys State Program.

2015 Karl Rove
Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush and Fox News Contributor
[press release]

2014 David Axelrod
Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and Director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.
[press release]

2013 Bob Woodward
One of America’s preeminent investigative reporters and non-fiction authors.

2012 James Carville
Media personality and political icon.

2011 John Danforth
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former Missouri Senator

2010 John Bolton
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

2009 Richard Armitage
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

2008 Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas Governor and Presidental candidate
[press release]

2007 Wesley Clark
Former Presidential Candidate and U.S. Army General

2005 Paul Begala
CNN Political Commentator and Author
[press release]

2004 J.C. Watts
Former U.S. Representative and College Football Star
[press release]

2003 Mike Peters
Syndicated Political Cartoonist and Creator of Mother Goose and Grimm comic strip.
[press release]

2002 Bill Bradley
Former Presidential Candidate and Former U.S. Senator
[press release]

2001 William S. Cohen
Former Secretary of Defense
[press release]

2000 Lisa Myers
National Correspondent for NBC News - Washington

1999 Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver
Minister and Former Mayor of Kansas City

1998 David R. Gergen
Former U.S. Presidential Advisor

1997 William J. Perry
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense

1996 Lamar Alexander
Former Presidential Candidate and Former U.S. Secretary of Education

1995 Dr. Robert M. Gates
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

1994 Paul E. Tsongas
Former Presidential Candidate and Senator from Massachusetts

1993 Edward D. “Chip” Robertson
Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice

1992 Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond
Former MO Attorney General, Governor and current senior U.S. Senator

1991 Thomas DeFrank
Author and White House Correspondent for Newsweek Magazine

1990 Robert F. Hyland
Corporate Vice-President CBS Radio, St. Louis

1989 William Proxmire
Former U. S. Senator from Wisconsin


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