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, awarded to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other important social, public, or private endeavors. .

President Biden often says that there is nothing beyond our ability when we act together. These nineteen Americans formed teams, coalitions, movements, organizations, and companies that shaped America for the better. They are the pinnacle of leadership in their fields. They consistently demonstrated throughout 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 receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Michael R. Bloomberg

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a businessman, philanthropist, and three-term mayor. He revolutionized the financial information industry and transformed New York City’s education, environment, public health, and arts.

Gregory J. Boyle

Father Greg Boyle is a Jesuit Catholic priest, founder and director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program in the world. He has helped thousands of Angelenos change their lives.

James E. Clyburn

Representative Jim Clyburn is the former Deputy Democratic Leader and Majority Leader in the United States House of Representatives. Over 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 pioneering 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 of military caregivers and her families.

Phil Donahue

Phil Donahue is a journalist and television pioneer who pioneered the issue-oriented daytime television talk show. Donahue It was the first daytime talk show to feature audience participation and one of the most influential television 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 in 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 result of a disputed presidential election for the sake of our unity. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along 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 attorney 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 a an open force against hate.

John Forbes Kerry

Secretary John Kerry is a former Secretary of State, United States Senator, and the first Special Presidential Climate Envoy. His bravery in combat during the Vietnam War earned him the Silver Star and Bronze Star, and history will remember his career of public service spanning seven decades.

Frank Lautenberg (posthumous)

Senator Frank Lautenberg (died 2013) was a five-term United States Senator and New Jersey’s longest-serving senator. He is remembered for his fundamental work on environmental protection and consumer safety in various fields.

Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky

Katie Ledecky is the most decorated swimmer in history. An athletic prodigy, she has so far won seven Olympic gold medals and twenty-one world championship gold medals. She will continue to compete for the Nation that looks at her in amazement.

opal reads

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 in officially making Juneteenth a national holiday in 2021.

Elena Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa is the first Hispanic woman in space and the second director of NASA’s renowned Johnson Space Center. Dr. Ochoa has flown to space four times, logged nearly 1,000 hours in orbit, and continues to inspire young generations of scientists.

Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi was 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 Democratic legislative agendas and 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 won key victories to improve the lives of the workers who feed and fuel our nation.

Judy Shepard

Judy Shepard is co-founder of the Matthew Shephard Foundation, an organization created in honor of her son, who was murdered in one of the country’s most notorious anti-gay hate crimes. Her work has driven enormous progress in our fight to not give hate a 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 several box office hits over four decades. Recently, she became the first Asian to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. Yeoh continues to break stereotypes and enrich American culture.