CCAC recommends designs for Sadat and Gleason congressional gold medals
- Published: Jun 20, 2019, 11 AM
Proposed designs for congressional gold medals honoring Stephen Michael Gleason and Muhammad Anwar el Sadat were recommended June 18 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The Gleason medal, authorized under Public Law 115-415, honors the former National Football League professional football player who has championed the cause to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after he was diagnosed with the disease in January 2011. Gleason continues to battle ALS as he leads efforts to find a cure.
In 2015, Gleason and Microsoft worked together to create a method for people who are completely paralyzed to navigate their power wheelchairs with their eyes.
Today, Gleason, Microsoft and all wheelchair manufacturers are working collaboratively to make it widely available to all who need this technology.
In addition, Microsoft has also made eye tracking technology part of all Windows 10 products around the globe.
The recommended Gleason obverse depicts a waist-up portrait of Gleason with clenched left fist raised high with the inscription STEVE GLEASON above the left border. Additional inscriptions include ACT OF CONGRESS 2018 along the right border.
The landscape in the reverse design recommended by the CCAC is emblematic of Gleason’s childhood in the Pacific Northwest, representing a lifetime of travel and exploration. Inscriptions include KEEP EXPLORING, an important phrase throughout Gleason’s life, representing both his travels and his journey with ALS. ACT OF CONGRESS 2018 is along the bottom border.
The CCAC suggested modifying the reverse design based on input from the Gleason family. Suggested modifications would move KEEP EXPLORING to the position occupied by ACT OF CONGRESS 2018, eliminating that latter inscription on the reverse.
Also suggested is enlarging the moon and sky space, moving the trees, mountains and water elements down to accommodate the enlargements.
Sadat, whose medal was authorized under Public Law 115-310, is being recognized for his achievements and contributions to the course of peace in the Middle East. Sadat served as the third president of Egypt until his Oct. 6, 1981, assassination by fundamentalist army officers.
The obverse design recommended by the CCAC features a large, dramatic portrait of Sadat facing right.
According to the U.S. Mint’s narrative, “The composition is designed for the portrait to be sculpted in the manner of ancient Egyptian relief, with the figure inset into the surface of the medal and its features sculpted flush with the medal’s surface. The inscription ANWAR EL SADAT is incused along the right border.”
The recommended reverse design depicts the Unknown Soldier Memorial and Anwar El Sadat’s tomb with the inscriptions HE LIVED FOR PEACE AND DIED FOR PRINCIPLES, ANWAR EL SADAT 1918–1981, and ACT OF CONGRESS 2018.
Sadat’s gold medal is to be presented to his widow, Jehan Sadat, or next of kin if she is not available, and a representative of the government of Egypt.
The CCAC reviewed 10 proposed obverse and 10 proposed reverse designs for the Gleason medal, and 14 obverse and 14 reverse designs for the Sadat medal.
Final approval of the medal designs will be made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or his designee.
The Gleason medal is to be presented to Gleason by the congressional leadership on behalf of Congress.
Bronze duplicates of the Gleason and Sadat medals bearing the approved designs will be offered for sale to the general public by the U.S. Mint in two diameters — a 3-inch version sold for $39.95 and a 1.5-inch version for $6.95.
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