Joseph Cardinal Bernadin was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1928. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Charleston in 1952 and served as an Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta (1966-68), general secretary of the U.S. bishops' conference in Wash., D.C. (1968-72), Archbishop of Cincinnati (1972-82), President of the bishops' conference (1974-77), and Archbishop of Chicago (1982-96). He became a cardinal in 1983. He chaired the U.S. bishops' committee that drafted a pastoral letter on war and peace and often articulated the need for a consistent ethic of life. Cardinal Bernadin was widely respected for his gentleness, his spirituality, and his ability to reconcile. He received the Medal of Freedom at the White House two months before he died of pancreatic cancer.