Ronald L. Kovik ( born Ronald L. Kovic ; born July 4, 1946 ) is an American Vietnam war veteran, a well-known activist of the anti-war movement. The author of the book “Born on July 4th”, according to which Oliver Stone shot the film of the same name with Tom Cruise in the title role.
Ron Kovik at a protest rally against the Iraq war in Los Angeles on October 12, 2007
|Birth name||Ronald L. Cowick|
|Date of Birth||July 4, 1946 (73 years old)|
|Place of Birth||Ladysmith , Wisconsin , USA|
|Occupation||Political and antiwar activist , writer|
|Awards and prizes|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Image in art
- 2.1 In music
- 2.2 In the cinema
- 3 References
Ron Kovik was born on Independence Day in Ladysmith, Wisconsin , into a family of Croatian descent who later moved to Massapika, New York . He was the eldest of six children in the family. In his youth, Kovik was involved in athletics and was not interested in studying. After graduation, he began to work in a grocery store, but he did not like this lifestyle. In September 1964, Kovik volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps with the firm intention of becoming a model marines and hero.
Kovik participated in the Vietnam War, having served two terms in South Vietnam . During his service, he became disillusioned with his ideals. In one case, he participated in the “ friendly fire ” incident, mistakenly shooting a comrade in battle. In another case, during an operation in the village, Kovik discovered that civilians were killed as a result of the actions of American troops. In one of the battles, he was seriously wounded, as a result of which he was paralyzed below his chest. During his service in Vietnam, he received the Bronze Star medal with the letter V (for courage) and the Purple Heart (for wounding).
While undergoing treatment in veteran hospitals, Kovik was confronted with the difficult conditions of detention reigning there and the lack of patient care. Due to his disability and the experience gained in Vietnam, he went through a period of deep depression, and eventually joined the ranks of the anti-war movement. In 1972, he thwarted Nixon's speech at the Republican Party Congress, after which a short interview with him was shown on CBS . In 1974, Kovik led a group of war invalids who went on a hunger strike demanding to investigate the state of affairs in all the institutions of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs. As a result of his anti-war activities, Kovik became widely known. He was arrested 12 times for participating in anti-war actions.
In 1974, Ron Kovik wrote a memoir entitled “Born on July 4th,” based on which two films were then shot.
In the 2000s, Kovik actively participated in protests against the Iraq war . He currently resides in Redondo Beach ( California ).
Image in Art
Songs are dedicated to him:
- Bruce Springsteen Shut Out The Light
- Tom Paxton's “Born on the Fourth of July”
In the movie
- “ Homecoming ” (1978) - Hal Ashby made a film based on the story of Kovik.
- “ Born on the Fourth of July ” (1989) - based on Ron Kovik’s memoirs directed by Oliver Stone, the eponymous war drama was shot in which Tom Cruise played the role of Kovik. At the end of the filming, Kovik handed the actor his Bronze Star medal for how much Cruz got used to the role. The film received two Oscars , and Kovik won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay.