Bono Honored By Former President George W. Bush for ‘Distinguished Leadership’

Congratulations to Bono, who was honored on Thursday (April 19) by the George W. Bush Institute.

The U2 front man is the first ever recipient of  the George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Leadership from the former president himself, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Bono was praised for his work raising awareness of HIV/AIDS and poverty in Africa, and his fundraising efforts.

Bush and Bono first met in 2002 at the White House to secure funding for The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“I’m here to honor your leadership on the greatest health intervention in the history of medicine,” Bono told Bush Thursday during a meeting that was streamed online, saying some 21 million lives had been saved “by this work that you began and led on, and I’m here to honor that.”

“[PEPFAR] never would have made it out of Congress had you not been engaged,” said Bush,  calling Bono “the real deal.  This is a guy who’s got a huge heart.”

Bono also praised Bush’s mother, Barbara Bush, who died last Tuesday, noting a March 1989 photograph  of the then-first lady embracing an infant with AIDS, “when the stigma of AIDS was at its highest.”  Bono credited Mrs. Bush for instilling compassion for HIV/AIDS sufferers in her son.

Watch the livestream footage below: