Gen. Tommy Franks

Gen. Tommy Franks

Retired General in the United States Army, previously serving as the Commander-in-Chief of United States Central Command

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18, 2007, Noon to 1:30 PM
WHERE: Coronado Ballroom, Hilton Anatole Hotel - West Wing, 2201 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75207

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Born in Oklahoma and raised in Midland, Texas, where he graduated high school one year ahead of First Lady Laura Bush, Tommy Franks was commissioned in the U.S Army after spending two years at the University of Texas.

Franks was immediately sent to Viet Nam, where he earned six awards for Valor and three Purple Hearts. That assignment was the start of a long and distinguished career that would take him from one world hot spot to another - from West Germany at the height of the Cold War, to the Demilitarized Zone in Korea, to the deserts of Arabia-where he gained the knowledge and experience that would prepare him for the leadership role that would mark his place in the annals of American History.

In June 2000, he was promoted to four-star General and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command. It's in this position that the world knows Tommy Franks best - the culmination of an almost four-decade military career that saw him lead American and Coalition troops in two strategically unprecedented campaigns in two years - Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

The General's awards include five Distinguished Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, four Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts, in addition to numerous foreign awards. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by order of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on May 25, 2004. President George W. Bush awarded him the Nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom on December 14, 2004.

Since his retirement from the military in 2003, General Franks has traveled the world speaking on leadership, character and the value of Democracy. His autobiography, American Soldier, reached Number #1 on The New York Times bestseller list in August 2004.

The General serves on the board of directors of the National Park Foundation and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Foundation. He is an advisor to the Central Command Memorial Foundation and the Military Child Education Coalition, and is a spokesman for the Salute America's Heroes Foundation and the Southeastern Guide Dogs Organization. He also serves on the board of directors for Bank of America Corporation, the second ranking bank in the U.S.

While simultaneously pursuing a military career, General Franks attended the University of Texas, Arlington, where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, and Shippensburg University where he graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Administration. He is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College. He has received honorary degrees from a number of Universities including his alma mater, Shippensburg University and his wife's alma mater, Oklahoma State University.

General Franks and his wife, Cathryn Carley Franks, have one daughter and three grandchildren. The Franks divide their time between their home in Tampa, Florida and their ranch in Roosevelt, Oklahoma.