For over 30 years, each year the Atlantic Legal Foundation has recognized and honored a great American, including distinguished CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies, government and professional leaders of the highest caliber, among them US Cabinet Officers, an Ambassador, a Governor, a NYC Mayor, US Senators and others of renown.
Most notably Marine Corp Commandant, first Commander of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force in 1979 and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General P.X. Kelley, who was honored by Atlantic Legal in 1999 as its leader of the year.
General Kelley remained a dedicated supporter of the Atlantic Legal Foundation until he passed on Sunday, December 29, 2019.
I first met General Kelley in the mid to late 1980’s when we were seated next to each other at a gala dinner hosted by Lebanese Ambassador Bouhabib and his wife, Julie, at the Lebanese Embassy in Washington DC, followed by a professional variety show at the Kennedy Center, MC’d by Danny Thomas and featuring all Lebanese performers from high opera to ethnic folk music . . . quite memorable !
P.X.’s endearing humility, infectious good nature, integrity, unflinching courage, strength of character, empathy for worthy others, and astute dedication to America and our Constitution, forged a personal friendship that endured for the many years that followed until his departure.
I was privileged to be his friend and share many memorable, constructive private telephone conversations with him. I helped him with his work in recent years as chairman of a task force refurbishing and embellishing the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas . . . not far from my hometown of Salina, Kansas.
And, P.X. and his lovely daughter, Chris Kelley Cimko, helped me compose a heartwarming letter in April of 2015 signed by P.X. on his 4 Star stationery to our mutual friend, the late Hugh O’Brian, commending Hugh on his 90th birthday for his service as the youngest drill sergeant in the history of the Marine Corp, for his work alongside Albert Sweitzer selflessly caring for victims of leprosy in the jungle, for founding the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation fostering leadership skills for nearly 500,000 high school students (including luminaries such as Governor Mike Huckabee) from over 75 countries, and for his successful acting career in television and in films, including his superb performance as the legendary Wyatt Earp.
Beloved and respected by many, P.X. was a man of mark who directly and indirectly by inspiring others, helped make America and the world better.
Heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones from the entire leadership of the Atlantic Legal Foundation and from my family . . .
Hayward Dan Fisk, Chairman & President
Atlantic Legal Foundation
StoneBridge in Bel Air, Los Angeles