Among this year’s recipients are former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the first woman to hold the nation’s top diplomatic post; John Glenn, the third American in space and the first American to orbit the Earth; and legendary musician Bob Dylan.
In a statement, Obama said of the honorees: “They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us and they’ve made the world a better place.”
Among the other honorees:
– John Doar, civil rights attorney.
– William Foege, physician who led the campaign to eradicate smallpox.
– Gordon Hirabayashi, openly defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
– Dolores Huerta, civil rights workers and women’s advocate.
– Jan Karski, officer in the Polish Underground during World War II and one of the first people to provide accounts of the Holocaust to the world.
– Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.
– Toni Morrison, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist.
– Shimon Peres, Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
– John Paul Stevens, former Supreme Court Justice.
– Pat Summitt, former women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee.