Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, October 27, 2019

Past Recipients


President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush

George W. Bush served as 43rd president of the United States and Laura Bush served as first lady from 2001-2009...more


Senator John McCain

From a family of military heroes, John McCain began his service in the Navy in 1958 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. ..more


John Lewis

Representative Lewis, who, along with Hosea Williams, led the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on “Bloody Sunday,” will be recognized for his courageous dedication to civil rights and the Constitution. ..more


His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet received the 2015 Liberty Medal in recognition of his advocacy for human rights worldwide...more


Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai received the 2014 Liberty Medal for her continued demonstration of courage and resilience in the face of adversity and for serving as a powerful voice for those who have been denied their basic human rights and liberties...more


Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was awarded the 2013 Liberty Medalin recognition of her lifelong career in public service and for her ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of women and girls around the globe. Secretary Clinton was honored with the prestigious award during the 25th annual Liberty Medal ceremony on September 10, 2013 at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia...more


Muhammad Ali: Champion of Freedom

Throughout 2012, the National Constitution Center served as the national headquarters of the Constitution’s 225th anniversary celebration. The 24th annual Liberty Medal ceremony honored 2012 recipient Muhammad Ali on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia...more


Robert Gates

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was awarded the medal in a public ceremony on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia...more


Tony Blair

The National Constitution Center’s 2010 Liberty Medal was awarded to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his steadfast commitment to conflict resolution. Former Prime Minister Blair played a critical role in advancing peace in Northern Ireland during his tenure as British prime minister. Throughout the grueling negotiation process that preceded the historic Good Friday Accord, he displayed unwavering determination to settle the generations-long conflict...more


Steven Spielberg

The National Constitution Center’s 2009 Liberty Medal was awarded to filmmaker and humanitarian Steven Spielberg for his artistic and personal commitment to the preservation of human rights. ..more


Mikhail Gorbachev

The National Constitution Center’s 2008 Liberty Medal was awarded to former Soviet leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev for his courageous role in ending the dangerous, decades-long Cold War and in giving hope and freedom to millions who lived behind the Iron Curtain...more


Bono & DATA

The National Constitution Center’s 2007 Liberty Medal was awarded jointly to Bono, U2 lead singer and activist, and DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), the advocacy organization he co-founded to combat poverty and disease in Africa...more


George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton

In January 2005, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton joined together in an unprecedented public awareness campaign to encourage Americans to support relief and recovery efforts to aid the victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia...more


Viktor Yushchenko

“Viktor Yushchenko has demonstrated this courage, this spirit, and this commitment in challenging corruption and election fraud, and winning his nation's mandate to lead after the Orange Revolution. ..more


Hamid Karzai

"The Liberty Medal has always been awarded to world leaders of great courage, vision and faith in the future…President Karzai is working tirelessly and skillfully to unify his country’s diverse factions, strengthen its economy and move towards democratic values and practices." ..more


Sandra Day O’Connor

"Sandra Day O’Connor is a leader of exceptional dignity, character and integrity...she has been a champion of justice, and her fairness and prudence on major decisions have made a lasting impact on our society….Justice O’Connor is one of the great legal minds in the United States, and she is a role model not only to women, but to millions of Americans."..more


Colin Powell

"Among the leaders who are in the forefront of supporting human liberties, and those who have earned respect for their courage and resoluteness in upholding rights held dear by Americans throughout their careers, Colin Powell is a giant." ..more


Kofi Annan

“Secretary General Annan is admired alike by leaders from the countries of the world and by their grassroots populations. He is recognized for his moral character, for his faith and loyalty. And for his attachment to social justice as well as to economic development…He has affirmed the worldwide right of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ – rights held so dear by the founders of our own nation.” ..more


Dr. James D. Watson & Dr. Francis Crick

"In the 20th century, the extraordinary record of the natural sciences and the technologies that they inspired is one of the grand achievements of human liberty. Watson and Crick and their work on DNA are symbols of the tremendous impact of science on our lives and welfare and on public policy…(This work) demonstrates the importance of enlightened scientific progress and." ..more


Kim Dae-jung

"During almost half a century, Kim Dae Jung has been not only a symbol of democratic values in the Republic of Korea, but also a heroic figure in its progress towards democracy. He has won the admiration of his people and of the leaders of all continents."..more


George Mitchell

"After 30 years of bitter and bloody divisions, a courageous, non-violent transformation in Northern Ireland seems imminent. Senator George Mitchell has been both a vital catalyst and a patient shepherd to the peace negotiations. His persistence and persuasion has guided the negotiations and allowed this breakthrough agreement, with its redefinition of self-determination of peoples, to emerge" ..more


CNN International

"For the first time in history, a majority of the world’s citizens live in nations that are electoral democracies. In order to thrive and expand, liberty and democracy need accurate and fair sources of knowledge and information. CNN International, the first global 24-hour news network, is such a source and helps foster informed leaders and electorates. The network and its founder, Ted Turner, have set standards which amplify democratic liberties." ..more


King Hussein & Shimon Peres

"King Hussein and Prime Minister Peres have played extraordinary roles, over many years, in pursuing peace and liberty in the Middle East. The 1994 accord between Jordan and Israel is remarkable because it goes beyond the cessation of belligerency and focuses on the normalization of relations. It is a model for the Middle East and a stimulus for the world." ..more


Sadako Ogata

"There is no greater champion and activist on behalf of the refugees of the world than Mrs. Ogata. In her four years as High Commissioner for Refugees, she has been their protector and provider of relief…No one has played a greater humanitarian role in this regard, or is a more significant symbol of future aspirations, than Sadako Ogata." ..more


Vaclav Havel

"President Havel will receive this award at Independence Hall, where 76 years ago, his predecessor, Tomas Masaryk, proclaimed the independence of Czechoslovakia. Vaclav Havel inspired the ‘velvet revolution’ which returned his country in 1989 to democratic liberties, civility and a market economy….He is a symbol to the world of the successful pursuit of cultural and political freedoms." ..more


Nelson Mandela & F. W. de Klerk

"The Liberty Medal’s International Selection Commission had America’s founder in mind in selecting this year’s awardees F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela, for their enormous courage, integrity, forbearance, sense of justice and devotion to freedom and consensus for the common good. Once again, a 'new order of the age' is being forged and we are privileged to be beholders." ..more


Thurgood Marshall

"Thurgood Marshall’s long history of defending and protecting individual rights and our nation’s liberties under the Constitution and securing legal equality for Americans of all races and creeds make him a magnificent choice for this year’s Liberty Medal."..more


Médecins Sans Frontières & Oscar Arias Sanchez

"In the score of years they have functioned, Médecins Sans Frontières and its missions have ranged across over sites, from Peru in South America, to Cambodia in Southeast Asia. Their premise that human freedom and the human spirit are inseparable from the well being of the human body echoes the beliefs of the 200-year-old Bill of Rights by including in its charter a Bill of Duties and Responsibilities. We salute them for their outstanding contributions to human well-being." ..more


Jimmy Carter

"President Jimmy Carter...has demonstrated among his other virtues that liberty is internalized within him – in his mind, in his heart, in his soul, and in the use of his time and his immense energy. Liberty is both a means and an end. It flourishes best in those cultures in which leaders – like Carter – are models of loyalty, faith and honesty, and persuasive advocates of other moral principles." ..more


Lech Walesa

“The movement for human liberty, like all great religious, social, cultural, economic and political movements, has its set of saints, its hagiology. Lech Walesa of Poland illuminates the constellation of saints devoted to liberty. We hope and expect that this award from this city, which over 200 years ago lit a large lamp of liberty for the United States and the globe, will add to your strength...” ..more

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