In a ceremony at the French cultural Embassy on New York's Upper East Side, H.E. Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the United States, awarded Norman Mailer, 83, France's Legion of Honor medal.
M. Levitte said the medal, which has only been bestowed on a handful of foreigners, was given to Mr. Mailer who is "...an American hero with a fierce love of freedom and an intellectual who has taken a stand in all the great struggles for his time."
During World War II, Mr. Mailer lived in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne. From that experience came The Naked and the Dead.
This is not the first time that the French have bestowed honor on Mr. Mailer. He adds France's 1983 insignia of Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters to his two Pulitzer Prizes (The Armies of the Night, 1969, and The Executioner's Song, 1980).