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President Biden Announces Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Today, President Biden named nineteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
 
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.
 
President Biden often says there is nothing beyond our capacity when we act together. These nineteen Americans built teams, coalitions, movements, organizations, and businesses that shaped America for the better. They are the pinnacle of leadership in their fields. They consistently demonstrated over their careers the power of community, hard work, and service.
 
The awards will be presented at the White House on May 3, 2024. The following individuals will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
 
Michael R. Bloomberg
 
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and three-term mayor. He revolutionized the financial information industry and transformed New York City’s education, environment, public health, and the arts.
 
Gregory J. Boyle
 
Father Greg Boyle is a Jesuit Catholic priest who is the founder and director of Homeboy Industries, the world’s largest gang-intervention and rehabilitation program. He has helped thousands of Angelenos turn their lives around.
 
James E. Clyburn
 
Representative Jim Clyburn is the former Assistant Democratic Leader and Majority Whip in the United States House of Representatives. Through three decades in the House, Representative Clyburn has transformed the lives of millions of Americans and created a freer country.
 
Elizabeth Dole
 
Senator Elizabeth Dole has served her country as a trailblazing United States Senator, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Labor, and President of the American Red Cross. She leads by example through her Foundation’s support for military caregivers and their families.
 
Phil Donahue
 
Phil Donahue is a journalist and television pioneer who pioneered the daytime issue-oriented television talk show. Donahue was the first daytime talk show to feature audience participation and one of the most influential televisions programs of its time.
 
Medgar Wiley Evers (posthumous)
 
Medgar Evers (d. 1963) fought for his country in World War II and returned home to lead the fight against segregation in Mississippi. After he was murdered at his home at age 37, his wife Myrlie continued the fight to seek justice and equality in his name.
 
Al Gore
 
Al Gore is a former Vice President, United States Senator, and member of the House of Representatives. After winning the popular vote, he accepted the outcome of a disputed presidential election for the sake of our unity. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for his bold action on climate change.
 
Clarence B. Jones
 
Clarence B. Jones is a renowned civil rights activist and lawyer who helped draft Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Jones was instrumental in preserving Dr. King’s legacy and remains an outspoken force against hate.
 
John Forbes Kerry
 
Secretary John Kerry is a former Secretary of State, United States Senator, and the first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. His bravery in combat during the Vietnam War earned him the Silver Star and Bronze Star, and history will remember his public service career that has spanned seven decades.
 
Frank R. Lautenberg (posthumous)
 
Senator Frank Lautenberg (d. 2013) was a five-term United States Senator and New Jersey’s longest-serving Senator. He is remembered for his critical work on environmental protection and consumer safety across a number of fields.
 
Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky
 
Katie Ledecky is the most decorated female swimmer in history. An athletic prodigy, she has won seven Olympic gold medals and twenty-one world championship gold medals so far. She will continue to compete for the Nation who watches her in awe.
 
Opal Lee
 
Opal Lee is an educator and activist known for her efforts to make Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday. More than 150 years after that day in Texas, she joined President Biden to officially make Juneteenth a national holiday in 2021.
 
Ellen Ochoa
 
Ellen Ochoa is the first Hispanic woman in space and the second female Director of NASA’s renowned Johnson Space Center. Dr. Ochoa has flown in space four times, logged nearly 1,000 hours in orbit, and continues to inspire young generations of scientists.
 
Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi
 
Nancy Pelosi served as the 52nd Speaker of the House and has represented San Francisco in Congress for more than 36 years. A staunch defender of democracy, she has shaped legislative agendas and Democratic priorities for decades.
 
Jane Rigby
 
Jane Rigby, an astronomer who grew up in Delaware, is the chief scientist of the world’s most powerful telescope. A prolific researcher, Dr. Rigby embodies the American spirit of adventure and wonder.
 
Teresa Romero
 
Teresa Romero is the president of the United Farm Workers and the first Latina to become president of a national union in the United States. She has secured key victories to improve the lives of the workers who feed and fuel our Nation.
 
Judy Shepard
 
Judy Shepard is the co-founder of the Matthew Shephard Foundation, an organization created in honor of her son who was murdered in one of the nation’s most notorious anti-gay hate crimes. Her work has driven tremendous progress in our fight to give hate no safe harbor.
 
James Francis Thorpe (posthumous)
 
Jim Thorpe (d. 1953) was the first Native American to win an Olympic gold medal. The country’s original multi-sport superstar, he went on to play professional football, baseball, and basketball while breaking down barriers on and off the field.
 
Michelle Yeoh
 
Michelle Yeoh is an actress known for her groundbreaking work in a number of blockbusters over four decades. Recently, she became the first Asian to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. Yeoh continues to shatter stereotypes and enrich American culture.

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Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2024/05/03/president-biden-announces-recipients-of-the-presidential-medal-of-freedom-2/

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