In its final announcement of 2021, the Carnegie Hero Fund is proud to recognize 17 civilians who risked their lives for others. Each will receive the Carnegie Medal, North America’s highest honor for civilian heroism.
Among those awarded are five who lost their lives, and will receive the Carnegie Medal posthumously: Gwendolyn Theus, a 64-year-old home health caretaker who chose to stay inside a burning house and attempt to assist her client to safety; and Kristoff Jaleel Murray, 27, D’Angelo Cordero Jenkins, 34, Terrell Miller, Sr., 33, and Matthew Ryan Kihlstrand, 45, who all died after entering rough water to rescue children and others in four separate incidents across the United States.
The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who enter extreme danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. With this announcement, a total of 10,273 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission Chair Mark Laskow said each of the awardees or their survivors will also receive a financial grant. Throughout the more than 117 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, more than $43 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.
The awardees are:
Shane Morrison, Concord Twp., Ohio
Josef Gluck, Monsey, New York
Randy Wilkinson, Jr., Lake Jackson, Texas
Neil Andrew Garrett, Santee, California
Gwendolyn Theus, deceased, Delhi, Louisiana
Kristoff Jaleel Murray, deceased, Tampa, Florida
Jason J. Hahn, Mason City, Iowa
Kenneth Brian McCarter, Okatie, South Carolina
Sean P. Conaboy, Brooklyn, New York
D’Angelo Cordero Jenkins, deceased, Rock Hill, South Carolina
Michael Byers, Lexington, North Carolina
Corey A. Purinton, Winter Garden, Florida
Terrell Miller, Sr., deceased, Houma, Louisiana
Jonathan Bauer, Berlin, Maryland
Matthew Ryan Kihlstrand, deceased, Baroda, Michigan
Austin Michael Stahly, South Bend, Indiana
Cameron Meade, South Bend, Indiana
To nominate someone for the Carnegie Medal, complete a nomination form online or write to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Ave., Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. More information on the Carnegie Medal and the history of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission can be found at carnegiehero.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.