Ron Kovic served two tours of duty as a U.S. Marine in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. In combat on Jan. 20, 1968, he suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He became one of the best-known peace activists among the veterans of the war.
Kovic was born in Ladysmith, Wis., and grew up in Massapequa, N.Y.
His autobiography, “Born on the Fourth of July,” was adapted as an Academy Award-winning film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise as Kovic. Kovic received a Golden Globe for his screenplay adaptation of his autobiography.
Kovic is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.