Presidential Medal of Freedom Award Winners 2009: Complete List
The 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom has been awarded by President Obama to 16 people, including Stephen Hawking, Harvey Milk, and Desmond Tutu.
The Medal of Freedom is awarded every year to individuals that are decided to have made a contribution to the security or national interestes of the United States, whether in peace, cultural or other public or private matters.
These awardees are 'agents of change' said the White House as they achieved accomplishments in sports, science, and medicine, among others
"These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds," President Obama said in a statement, while calling their accomplishments "tremendous." "[Y]et they share one overarching trait: each has been an agent of change. Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way," he added. "Their relentless devotion to breaking down barriers and lifting up their fellow citizens sets a standard to which we all should strive. It is my great honor to award them the Medal of Freedom."
The awards will be presented on August 12 by President Obama.
A complete list of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Nancy Goodman Brinker
Pedro José Greer, Jr.
Sen. Edward Kennedy
Billie Jean King
Rev. Joseph Lowery
Joe Medicine Crow – High Bird
Sandra Day O’Connor
Janet Davison Rowley