The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor in the nation. The honors list includes honorees from entertainment, politics, sports, the military, academia and civil rights advocacy. The list of honorees includes living honorees as well as posthumous honorees.
Washington is an Academy Award-winning actor with more than 60 television and film credits, including “Glory,” “Malcolm X,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Devil in a Blue Dress,” “American Gangster,” “Fences” and “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” The White House press release noted Washington’s 25 years as the National Spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as his numerous awards during his impressive career, including two Academy Awards.
“Denzel Washington is an actor, director, and producer who has won two Academy Awards, a Tony Award, two Golden Globes, and the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also served as National Spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for over 25 years.”
Also receiving honors from the president are Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, civil rights advocate and former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Raúl Yzaguirre, Brigadier General Wilma Vaughtis, Gold Star father Khizr Khanis, Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe, former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, civil rights activist Diane Nash, New York critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay, Father Alexander Karloutsos, civil rights attorney Fred Gray, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Dr. Julieta García and Sister Simone Campbell.
“These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith,” said the release. “They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come.”
President Biden will present the awards on July 7 at The White House.