Ronald Lawrence Kovic is an anti-war activist, marine veteran and writer who was paralyzed in the Vietnam War. He is best known as the author of the memoir Born on the Fourth of July, which was made into an Academy Award–winning movie directed by Oliver Stone, with Tom Cruise playing Kovic.
Kovic received the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay on January 20, 1990, exactly 22 years to the day that he was wounded in Vietnam. Ron Kovic was also nominated for an Academy Award for best screen play. Bruce Springsteen wrote the song "Shut Out The Light" after reading Kovic's memoir and then meeting him. Tom Paxton, the folk singer/political activist, wrote the song "Born on the Fourth of July", which is on his "New Songs from the Briarpatch" album. Academy Award winning actress Jane Fonda has stated that Ron Kovic's story was the inspiration for her film Coming Home.