Los Angeles Times travel editor Jerry Hulse received the Insignia of the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, the highest award the French government bestows, at ceremonies on Monday evening at the French Consulate in Beverly Hills.
The Legion of Honor, awarded by President Francois Mitterrand and presented to Hulse by French Minister of Tourism Jean-Jacques Descamps, was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and recognizes individuals who contribute to France's renown.
Descamps described Hulse as "a Californian who has demonstrated continued friendship through the media."
"As he says, France is a second country for him," Descamps said, "and with professional skill and enthusiasm, he has shared his first-hand knowledge of France with his readers."
Hulse visited France for the first time in 1951 while delivering an airplane to the United States. "The love affair with France began then and has never lost its ardor," he said.
Few Americans or journalists have received the Legion of Honor, which is given to individuals only after 25 years of prominence in a profession. Hulse has been Times travel editor for 27 years, and a Times employee for 35 years.
More than 100 guests attended the reception hosted by Consul General Bernard and Dominique Miyet. Following the reception, Minister Descamps presided at a dinner at Le Dome.