Madeleine Korbel Albright Madeleine Korbel Albright broke barriers and left an indelible mark on the world as the first female Secretary of State in the United States' history. Through her consummate diplomacy and steadfast democratic ideals, Secretary Albright advanced peace in the Middle East, nuclear arms control, justice in the Balkans, and human rights around the world. With unwavering leadership and continued engagement with the global community, she continues her noble pursuit of freedom and dignity for all people.
John Doar As African Americans strove for justice, John Doar led federal efforts to defend equality and enforce civil rights. Risking his life to confront the injustices around him, he prevented a violent riot, obtained convictions for the killings of civil rights activists, and stood by the first African American student at the University of Mississippi on his first day of class. During pivotal moments in the Civil Rights Movement and in the troubled times of the Watergate scandal, John Doar fought to protect the core values of liberty, equality and democracy that have made America a leader among nations.
Bill Foege A distinguished physician and epidemiologist, Bill Foege helped lead a campaign to eradicate smallpox that stands among medicine's greatest success stories. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Carter Center, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has taken on humanity's most intractable public health challenges from infectious diseases to child survival and development. Bill Foege has driven decades of progress to safeguard the well-being of all, and he has inspired a generation of leaders in the fight for a healthier world.
John Glenn John Glenn has set a peerless example through his service to our nation. As a Marine Corps pilot and the first American to orbit the Earth, he sparked our passions for ingenuity and adventure and lifted humanity's ambitions into the expanses of space. In the United States Senate, he worked tirelessly to ensure all Americans had the opportunity to reach for limitless dreams. Whether by advancing legislation to limit the spread of nuclear weapons or by becoming the oldest person ever to visit space, John Glenn's example has moved us all to look to new horizons with drive and optimism.
Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi Susan Carnahan, accepting on behalf of her husband Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi. In his open defiance of discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II, Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi demanded our nation live up to its founding principles. Imprisoned for ignoring curfew and refusing to register for internment camps, he took his case to the Supreme Court, which ruled against him in 1943. Refusing to abandon his belief in an America that stands for fundamental human rights, he pursued justice until his conviction was overturned in 1987. Gordon Hirabayashi's legacy reminds us that patriotism is rooted not in ethnicity, but in our shared ideals. And his example will forever call on us to defend the liberty of all our citizens.
Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta One of America's great labor and civil rights icons, Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta has devoted her life to advocating for marginalized communities. Alongside Cesar Chavez, she co-founded the United Farm Workers of America and fought to secure basic rights for migrant workers and their families, helping save thousands from neglect and abuse. Dolores Huerta has never lost faith in the power of community organizing, and through the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she continues to train and mentor new activists to walk the streets into history.
Jan Karski Adam Daniel Rotfeld, former Polish foreign minister accepting on behalf of Jan Karski. As a young officer in the Polish Underground, Jan Karski was among the first to relay accounts of the Holocaust to the world. A witness to atrocity in the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi Izbica transit camp, he repeatedly crossed enemy line to document the face of genocide, and courageously voiced tragic truths all the way to President Roosevelt. Jan Karski illuminated one of the darkest chapters of history, and his heroic intervention on behalf of the innocent will never be forgotten.
Juliette Gordon Low Richard Platt, accepting on behalf of his great aunt, Juliette Gordon Low. An artist, athlete and trailblazer for America's daughters, Juliette Gordon Low founded an organization to teach young women self-reliance and resourcefulness. A century later, during the "Year of the Girl," the Girl Scouts' more than 3 million members are leaders in their communities and are translating new skills into successful careers. Americans of all backgrounds continue to draw inspiration from Juliette Gordon Low's remarkable vision, and we celebrate her dedication to empowering girls everywhere.
Toni Morrison The first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize, Toni Morrison is one of our nation's most distinguished storytellers. She has captivated readers through lyrical prose that depicts the complexities of a people and challenges our concepts of race and gender. Her works are hallmarks of the American literary tradition, and the United States proudly honors her for her nursing of souls and strengthening the character of our union.
John Paul Stevens From the Navy to the bench, John Paul Stevens has devoted himself to service to our nation. After earning a Bronze Star in World War II, Stevens returned home to pursue a career in law. As an attorney, he became a leading practitioner of anti-trust law. And as a Supreme Court Justice, he dedicated his long and distinguished tenure to applying our Constitution with fidelity and independence. His integrity, humility, and steadfast commitment to the rule of law have fortified the noble vision of our nation's founders.
Pat Summitt Pat Summitt is an unparalleled figure in collegiate sports. Over 38 seasons, she proudly led the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers to 32 SEC tournament and regular season championships and eight national titles, becoming the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history. On the court, Coach Summitt inspired young women across our country to shoot even higher in pursuit of their dreams. Off the court, she has inspired us all by turning her personal struggle into a public campaign to combat Alzheimer's disease. Pat Summitt's strength and character exemplify all that is best about athletics in America.
Bob Dylan A modern-day troubadour, Bob Dylan established himself as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. The rich poetry of his lyrics opened up new possibilities for popular song and inspired generations. His melodies have brought ancient traditions into the modern age. More than 50 years after his career began, Bob Dylan remains an eminent voice in our national conversation and around the world.