White House announces 2012 Medal of Freedom recipients
President Obama presenting the Citizens Medal of Freedom - the nation's second highest civilian honor - in the East Room of the White House in October 2011.
April 26th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

White House announces 2012 Medal of Freedom recipients

The White House announced 13 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday. Along with previously announced recipients Madeleine Albright and Pat Summitt, the recipients or their representatives will be invited to the White House in late spring to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor. Three of this year's recipients will be awarded the medal posthumously.

In a statement, the White House said that the Medal of Freedom is “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

President Obama said in the statement, “These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award.”

Here is a list of this year’s recipients and some of the information released by White House on why they were selected:

Madeleine Albright

From 1997 to 2001, under President William J. Clinton, Albright served as the 64th United States Secretary of State, the first woman to hold that position. During her tenure, she worked to enlarge NATO and helped lead the Alliance’s campaign against terror and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, pursued peace in the Middle East and Africa, sought to reduce the dangerous spread of nuclear weapons, and was a champion of democracy, human rights, and good governance across the globe.

John Doar

Doar was a legendary public servant and leader of federal efforts to protect and enforce civil rights during the 1960s. He served as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In that capacity, he was instrumental during many major civil rights crises, including singlehandedly preventing a riot in Jackson, Mississippi, following the funeral of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evars in 1963.

Bob Dylan

One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album in 1962. Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades.

William Foege

A physician and epidemiologist, Foege helped lead the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He was appointed Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1977 and, with colleagues, founded the Task Force for Child Survival in 1984. Foege became Executive Director of The Carter Center in 1986 and continues to serve the organization as a Senior Fellow.

John Glenn

Glenn is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States Senator. In 1962, he was the third American in space and the first American to orbit the Earth. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Glenn was elected to the U.S. Senate in Ohio in 1974.  He was an architect and sponsor of the 1978 Nonproliferation Act and served as Chairman of the Senate Government Affairs committee from 1978 until 1995.

Gordon Hirabayashi

Hirabayashi openly defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. As an undergraduate at the University of Washington, he refused the order to report for evacuation to an internment camp, instead turning himself in to the FBI to assert his belief that these practices were racially discriminatory. Consequently, he was convicted by a U.S. Federal District Court in Seattle of defying the exclusion order and violating curfew. Hirabayashi appealed his conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against him in 1943. Following World War II and his time in prison, Hirabayashi obtained his doctoral degree in sociology and became a professor.  In 1987, his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Hirabayashi died on January 2, 2012.

Dolores Huerta

Huerta is a civil rights, workers, and women’s advocate. With Cesar Chavez, she co-founded the National Farmworkers Association in 1962, which later became the United Farm Workers of America. Huerta has served as a community activist and a political organizer, and was influential in securing the passage of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, and disability insurance for farmworkers in California.

Jan Karski

Karski served as an officer in the Polish Underground during World War II and carried among the first eye-witness accounts of the Holocaust to the world. He worked as a courier, entering the Warsaw ghetto and the Nazi Izbica transit camp, where he saw first-hand the atrocities occurring under Nazi occupation.

Juliette Gordon Low

Born in 1860, Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912. The organization strives to teach girls self-reliance and resourcefulness.  It also encourages girls to seek fulfillment in the professional world and to become active citizens in their communities.

Toni Morrison

One of our nation’s most celebrated novelists, Morrison is renowned for works such as Song of Solomon, Jazz, and Beloved, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988. When she became the first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1993, Morrison’s citation captured her as an author “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”

Shimon Peres

An ardent advocate for Israel's security and for peace, Shimon Peres was elected the ninth President of Israel in 2007. First elected to the Knesset in 1959, he has served in a variety of positions throughout the Israeli government, including in twelve Cabinets as Foreign Minister, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Transport and Communications. Peres served as Prime Minister from 1984-1986 and 1995-1996.

John Paul Stevens

Stevens served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010, when he retired as the third longest-serving Justice in the Court’s history. Known for his independent, pragmatic and rigorous approach to judging, Justice Stevens and his work have left a lasting imprint on the law in areas such as civil rights, the First Amendment, the death penalty, administrative law, and the separation of powers.

Pat Summitt

In addition to accomplishing an outstanding career as the all-time winningest leader among all NCAA basketball coaches, Summitt has taken the University of Tennessee to more Final Four appearances than any other coach and has the second best record of NCAA Championships in basketball.


soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. DEcember 2012

    OMG THIS IS SO OUTRAGEOUS! WHERE ARE ALL THE REPUBLITARD OUTRAGE JUNKIES? THEY SHOULD BE ALL OVER THIS LIKE MAGGOTS ON DECAYING FLESH!

    April 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      PLEEEASE!

      Constitutional Conservatives,,,,

      My Brothers in Arms, will salute me!

      I was expecting the Occupier-in-Chief,,,
      to remove that Suit,,,
      and show his moves,,,,, on the Board Walk!

      Yes, He is Too Sexy for his Shirt!

      The Secret Service will come out of this smelling like a Rose!

      Or should I say a Rosario?

      I want to pass this along....

      VP Biteme has seen it!

      VP Biteme will promise you that he has seen such!

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMRYuq4-PqI&w=640&h=360]

      I do not see the humor or why everybody laughed!

      But for a White African,,, there may be a little humor here!

      April 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
      • Howard

        Obama said his father served in WW II? Barack's father served in WW II?
        He said so in a speech. Here is an 18 second video:
        CNN News clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv4jnlkxOaw
        Is he a compulsive liar? Were there no reporters who checked or double checked these statements and called the party on this? They did for everyone else. Why not him?
        Like it or not, here are the facts:
        Barack Hussein Obama Sr. (Obama's father) Born: 4/4/36 Died: 11/24/82 at the age of 46.
        He was 5 years old when WW II started, and less than 9 1/2 yrs old when it ended.

        Lolo Soetoro (Obama's step father) Born: January 2,1935 Died: 3/2/87 at the age of 52.
        He was 6 years old when WW II started, and 10 years old when it ended.

        April 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
      • mary

        WOULD THE REAL PRESIDENT PLEASE STAND UP

        April 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      YES WE CAN!
      YES WE CAN!
      YES WE CAN!

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ-4gnNz0vc&w=640&h=360]

      April 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • DEcember 2012

      HOW ODD. I DID NOT KNOW MAGGOTS CAN BE TRAINED TO SHOW UP WHEN BECKONED. WHO KNEW. HAHAHAHAHA!!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Howard

      MITT ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012 !!!

      April 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        WHATEVER YOU SAY MAGGOTRON! HAHAHAHAA!!!

        April 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Howard

      If you're such a fan of Obama, buy his comedy album when it comes out, or watch him on late night ... but, don't gamble the future of America, by betting our survival on this loser. Thanks to Obama, over 5 trillion has been squandered in just 3 1/2 years ... our credit score has been downgraded ... our debt has just exceeded our GDP ... and, Obama wants to double down on his pathetic failed policies. Unlike you, I love America more than Obama.

      April 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        OBAMA HAS A PERSONALITY AND A SENSE OF HUMOR AND HE WILL CONTINUE TO BE PRESIDENT FOR 4 MORE YEARS.

        IF YOU LIKE ROBOTS THEN YOU CAN VOTE FOR GOLDENROD MITT ROMNEY. HAHAHAAA!

        April 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • mary

      WHY ALL THE HOOPLA JUST BEFORE ELECTION OH DONT FORGET TO MODERATE LOL🙂

      April 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
      • mary

        DON'T YOU PEOPLE HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO🙂 THERE'S A COUNTRY TO RUN LOLLOLLO L:)

        April 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Howard

      At a time when Americans are tightening their belts, and experiencing hard economic times, Obama overrides congress, and is now giving 147 million in tax payer dollars to ... the Palestinians. Yes, the same Palestinians who danced in the streets, and cheered on 9-11, when over 3,000 innocent Americans were slaughtered ... and, the same Palestinians who are governed by Hamas, an America hating, Islamic terrorist organization. It's time to throw this two faced traitor out of the White House.

      April 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  2. 1FreeWorld

    Anybody in the Military that fought,

    that fought and lived,
    that fought and was wounded,
    that fought and died,,,

    that watched and never experienced
    War or
    Other Kinectic Over-Seas Operations,,,,

    Without CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL....

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39YUXIKrOFk&w=640&h=360]

    I am thinking that wHossihinne's Youngster's will soon be looking for his Shirt!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ-4gnNz0vc&w=640&h=360]

    Yes, he is too sexy
    for his Shirt!

    April 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2KsU_dhwI&w=640&h=360]

      April 27, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjOZOnye9QY&w=640&h=360]

        His wHoseHinee's Empire is about to FALL!

        Humpty Obama, Dumpty Obama,
        Sat on a Wall!

        Humpty Barack, Dumpty Barack,
        Had a great FALL!

        All the Hollywooder's and All the RaceBaiters,,,

        Couldn't put the Socialist Barack Back together again!

        April 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  3. OBAMAIS OSAMA

    2001 WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING(Twin Towers) AND VIOLENT WORLD OF LIES OR PSYCHIATRY REVEALED ENTIERLY !!! EXACTLY PER WHO, HOW, AND WHY !! FACTS ABOUT REAL OSAMA BIN LADEN WHO IS IN FACT TERRORIST BARAK HUSSEIN OBAMA !!!

    INDISPUTABLE FACTS(truth) ABOUT TERRORIST ALEX JONES(Ron Paul) & TERRORIST MARK POTOK (the two criminal masterminds who orchestrated nad created 911 on behalf of self elected governments – worldwide for the sake of NAZI witch hunting/scapegoating – Breivik explained).

    From foreign wars, human experimentation, and mkultra procedures(related even to state workforce/employment) agencies !!! Exactly what 911 was used for – prior and after !!!

    NOT HUMAN RIGHTS COURTS OR ORGANIZATIONS, BUT ORGANIZERS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES AND SPONSORS OF BOGUS "MULTICULTURALISM" $$$ CLAIMS AT EXPENSE OF PERSECUTED WHITES !!! ALL THANKS TO FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe CENSORSHIP OF GENOCIDE in entire history ) !!

    See first Video 81

    https://dailymotion.com/video/xqc97z

    Video 82

    https://dailymotion.com/video/xqc9d2

    Video 83 – THE TRUTH ABOUT ZIONIST WAR DECLARATION ON WHITE RACE – WORLDWIDE(1998 trip to Washington revealed, mkultra abductions to local employment agency) !!!
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqdwbs can also be seen at (https://vimeo.com/41052839 or http://www.zideo.nl/playzideo/6c4961616e316873) !!!

    Video 84 – Well anticipated sicret service revealed(plot).
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqctnn

    For immediate contacts or ORIGINAL LINK, please use http://www.facebook.com/people/Loki-Nagrind/100001962176474
    Thank you

    April 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  4. 1FreeWorld

    Pretend Obummer was in the SNL Shark Tank and was about to allow A Slow Jam with Opie!!!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72nPf4UaemU&w=640&h=360]

    A Slow Jam, yes,,,,

    Jump the Shark O and you will have all the women you want!

    Better yet,,,, do a Slow Jam with the youngsters!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAFQIciWsF4&w=640&h=360]

    Watch Obummer's eyes READ THE SCRIPT!

    Back and forth, back and forth!

    Where are all the Babes in Bathing Suits?

    Jump the Shark Barackness Monster!

    Or is it,,,

    We have to Jump the Barackness Shark Monster????

    April 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Pete

      1Free jerk,I thought the klan was gone,but damn ,you're a great rep for them.I know you were a wanna be military jar head,read your other racial rants,pure political hypocricy at its finest,films and all.But do us intelligent,mostly Democrates and Indepentants a favor,if nothing but for our sanity,if ya don't have facts,shut the hell up,that's all....

      April 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Hey Pete! and @Pete!

        The Klan was created by SOUTHERN DemocRATS (A long time ago!).

        The Southern DemocRATS' were replaced by Republicans and
        most Folks that believe in
        Truth, Justice, and the American Way,,,, err,,,

        LIFE, LIBERTY, and the Pursuit of Happiness,,,,

        Will Fight for the protection of these Rights,,,
        for Blacks, Browns, Yellows, Whites, (No Commie Purples)

        The NATIONAL DemocRATS' Klan is still alive and has gone to all the States within the USA, and the BLACKS still vote for the DemocRATS!

        Go FIGURE!

        I cannot figure that one out.

        Just ask all the Black Freedom Lovers!

        Allen West,
        Condolisa Rice,
        The not Black enough Herman Cain,
        ANYBODY BUT OBAMA,
        Alveda King, (Niece of the Great Doctor Martin Luther King),
        CL Bryant,

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55aujTwuJY8&w=640&h=360]

        We need to hear from Slick Willey on the West Virginian BYRD KLANSMAN!

        Back to Pete,,,,

        Let me pretend to be a person in the Medical Field,,,,

        I want all folks to get the best Medical Care!

        Red, and Yellow, Black and White, they are Precious in HIS Sight,
        Jesus Loves the little Childern of the WORLD!

        ObummerCare will not allow that!
        Pete may not get his Medical Care,,,

        Now tell me where is Pete now?

        April 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
      • John

        Pete – Are you the grand wizard? Every post you put out there talks about the Klan. Take off the hood and open your eyes.

        April 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • mary

      IS THAT HIS BODYGUARD ON STAGE IN THE BACKGROUND

      April 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  5. greg

    so thats the complaint? Obama read the script. What a stupid thing to say. Repos cant stand the fact that the pres is cool and smart at the same time. Can you see ol mitt up their mr. personality would put you to sleep. Good choice for medial recipeants. Love that ol Bob Dylan is on the list. Im sure that will get the repos going. Obama 2012

    April 27, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • 1FreeWorld

      If he were smart, he could speak his heart!

      he wouldn't need to read from TELEPROMPTERS !!!

      But those that want to TRICK YOU,,,,
      Like all the Hollywood'ers (just coined that phrase)
      have to memorize their scripts, or
      Ahem, read from Teleprompters (TV SOAP OPERAS Would never be the same)!

      They can't just SLOW READ their Scripts, reading line-for-line, eyes wagging back and forth!

      Just imagine if all the folks on TV, or in the Movies, had to read their scripts,,,
      EYES WAGGING BACK AND FORTH!

      If he were smart, he could speak his heart!
      If the glove don't fit, don't commit!

      O'bama and O'jay might be in the same prison and they can talk about Jessie, Al, Eric Holder, and their Ilk.

      Obummer isn't Smart, he is an Empty Suit with a TELEPROMPTER!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      Here is a Black Man, in the Government,
      in the government of Washington, DC,,,,
      a DemocRAT,,,
      in
      Ward 8,,,,

      He wants all folks to have the Pursuit of Happiness,,,,
      (NOT)

      Just watch!
      Unless you are Aisian,,,

      If you are Asian,,, turn a blind eye to the DemocRATS,,,
      but, yes, still VOTE for the DemocRATS,,,,
      because they want all to be enslaved!

      Asians, Just don't go to Washington, DC and try the Free Market System....

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KU75BdSKCs&w=640&h=360]

      Aisians know about Tyranny,,,

      They will vote for Freedom, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Did he say Hispanics?

        YES HE DID,
        YES HE DID,
        YES HE DID !!!

        So the Wise Hispanic Latina, Sotomeyer, Supreme Court Justice, will be responding to this?

        I am looking for a nice Chinese or Latino or "White African (Kenyan)" restaurant....

        in Washington DC,,,

        Where a Black Peruvian can have a good Red-Curry (from Tailand)...

        Wanna have a Government Worker stop all the Dirty Asians from surving up a good Red Thai Curry?

        Or do you all want to get rid of DemocRATS
        that want to get rid of Asians,
        and Pro-Life Africans,
        and other folks that
        do not want to be controlled by the Government?

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGL8CiUtXF0&w=640&h=360]

        April 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • jean2009

      So let them complain...at least he can read. I'm not so sure about the last guy.

      http://www.knowthecandidates.org/ktc/bumblingbush/index.cfm

      April 28, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  6. NObama 2012

    today obama said Romney would not have gone after Bin Ladin....now he is holding a rare interview in the Situation Room on this killing...he ordered this hit when Donald Trump was after him on the birthcert thing and he did this with only one advisor agreeing to it, pannetta (the $32,000 a week trip to Calif, on the tax payers)... looks like Barr..I mean Barack stepped in it again...DAMAGE CONTROL! iGNORANT FOOL!

    April 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • John

      Another politically driven comment by BO. Of course ANY PRESIDENT would have made the decision given the information they had.

      "Received phone call from (National Security Adviser) Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault. The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands." From Panetta's memo...

      April 28, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  7. mary

    NO MORE LIES NO MORE LIES NO MORE LIES NO MORE LIES NO MORE LIES NO MORE LIES

    April 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  8. Obama said something about "Polish death camps" during WWII

    I think he should come back to the school and learn, that during IIWW in Poland were German death camps.

    May 30, 2012 at 6:39 am |