U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

Historical Heroes

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is one of the two highest civilian awards in the United States, considered the equivalent of the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. It is designed to recognize individuals who have made 'an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.' Moe Berg respectfully rejected it.

Vote Ranking  

1

Sidney Hook

Philosopher

100% (1 of 1 votes)

2

Jasper Johns

Artist

100% (1 of 1 votes)

3

Whittaker Chambers

Commentator

100% (1 of 1 votes)

4

James Baker

U.S. Secretary of State

100% (2 of 2 votes)

5

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Politician

100% (1 of 1 votes)

6

Edmund Wilson

Author

100% (1 of 1 votes)

7

Muhammad Yunus

Economist

100% (1 of 1 votes)

8

A.M. Rosenthal

Commentator

100% (1 of 1 votes)

9

McGeorge Bundy

Politician

100% (1 of 1 votes)

10

Roy Wilkins

Advocate

100% (1 of 1 votes)

11

Hyman Rickover

Military Personnel

100% (1 of 1 votes)

12

Mstislav Rostropovich

Musician

100% (1 of 1 votes)

13

Milton Friedman

Economist

100% (1 of 1 votes)

14

A. Philip Randolph

Advocate

100% (1 of 1 votes)

15

Warren Burger

U.S. Chief Justice

100% (1 of 1 votes)

16

Tommy Franks

Military Personnel

100% (2 of 2 votes)

17

Wesley Clark

Military Personnel

100% (1 of 1 votes)

18

L. Paul Bremer

Diplomat

100% (1 of 1 votes)

19

Anwar Sadat

World Leader

100% (1 of 1 votes)

20

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Explorer

100% (1 of 1 votes)

21

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

U.S. Senator

100% (1 of 1 votes)

22

Eric Hoffer

Philosopher

100% (1 of 1 votes)

23

Edmund Muskie

U.S. Senator

100% (1 of 1 votes)

24

Pablo Casals

Musician

100% (1 of 1 votes)

25

Archbishop Iakavos of America

Religious Figure

100% (1 of 1 votes)

26

Edward Steichen

Photographer

100% (1 of 1 votes)

27

Alan Page

Football Player

100% (1 of 1 votes)

28

Edgar Bronfman, Sr.

Entrepreneur

100% (1 of 1 votes)

29

William H. Webster

Politician

100% (2 of 2 votes)

30

Gary Player

Golfer

100% (1 of 1 votes)

31

Annika Sorenstam

Golfer

100% (1 of 1 votes)

32

Khizr Khan

Attorney

100% (1 of 1 votes)

33

Sylvia Mendez

Student

100% (1 of 1 votes)

34

Steve Jobs

Computer Tech

80.0% (4 of 5 votes)

35

Ansel Adams

Photographer

80.0% (4 of 5 votes)

36

Norman Podhoretz

Commentator

75.00% (3 of 4 votes)

37

Denzel Washington

Actor

66.67% (32 of 48 votes)

38

Barry Goldwater

U.S. Senator

66.67% (2 of 3 votes)

39

John Wooden

Basketball Player

62.50% (5 of 8 votes)

40

Donald Rumsfeld

Politician

61.11% (11 of 18 votes)

41

James Earl Carter

U.S. President

60.11% (315 of 524 votes)

42

John Wayne

Actor

60.06% (212 of 353 votes)

43

Lyndon Baines Johnson

U.S. President

60.0% (9 of 15 votes)

44

Mariano Rivera

Baseball Player

60.0% (3 of 5 votes)

45

Bill Cosby

Comedian

58.99% (397 of 673 votes)

46

Joe DiMaggio

Baseball Player

58.74% (131 of 223 votes)

47

Neil Armstrong

Astronaut

58.67% (88 of 150 votes)

48

Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

Religious Figure

57.52% (88 of 153 votes)

49

Gerald Ford

U.S. President

56.80% (71 of 125 votes)

50

John Lewis

U.S. Congressman

54.84% (17 of 31 votes)

51

Gabrielle Giffords

U.S. Congressman

54.05% (40 of 74 votes)

52

Rosalynn Carter

First Lady

53.04% (61 of 115 votes)

53

Jackie Robinson

Baseball Player

52.61% (121 of 230 votes)

54

Jesse Owens

Athlete

52.00% (26 of 50 votes)

55

Johnny Carson

Comedian

51.72% (15 of 29 votes)

56

Simone Biles

Gymnast

51.54% (67 of 130 votes)

57

Ellsworth Bunker

Diplomat

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

58

Marcario Garcia

Hero

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

59

Gerda Weissmann Klein

Advocate

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

60

Jack Nicklaus

Golfer

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

61

Elie Wiesel

Author

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

62

Samuel Goldwyn

Producer

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

63

Rachel Carson

Advocate

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

64

Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr.

Military Personnel

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

65

Katherine Johnson

Mathematician

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

66

Lew Wasserman

Agent

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

67

Arleigh Burke

Military Personnel

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

68

Vaclav Havel

World Leader

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

69

John Foster Dulles

Politician

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

70

Warren Christopher

U.S. Secretary of State

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

71

Ralph Bunche

Diplomat

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

72

W. Averell Harriman

U.S. Governor

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

73

Yo-Yo Ma

Musician

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

74

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Advocate

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

75

J. William Fulbright

U.S. Senator

50.0% (2 of 4 votes)

76

Brent Scowcroft

Crime Fighter

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

77

Tony Blair

World Leader

50.0% (2 of 4 votes)

78

Ben Carson

Doctor

49.57% (57 of 115 votes)

79

Ronald Reagan

U.S. President

48.60% (243 of 500 votes)

80

Angela Merkel

World Leader

48.39% (15 of 31 votes)

81

Babe Ruth

Baseball Player

47.83% (55 of 115 votes)

82

Colin Powell

U.S. Secretary of State

47.62% (10 of 21 votes)

83

Megan Rapinoe

Soccer Player

47.56% (39 of 82 votes)

84

Margaret Thatcher

World Leader

46.81% (44 of 94 votes)

85

Charlton Heston

Actor

46.77% (29 of 62 votes)

86

Jim Jordan

U.S. Congressman

45.45% (115 of 253 votes)

87

Tiger Woods

Golfer

44.90% (22 of 49 votes)

88

Andrew Young, Jr.

U.S. Congressman

44.44% (4 of 9 votes)

89

Maya Angelou

Poet

43.75% (21 of 48 votes)

90

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

U.S. President

42.17% (132 of 313 votes)

91

Thurgood Marshall

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

42.06% (53 of 126 votes)

92

Henry Kissinger

U.S. Secretary of State

42.06% (135 of 321 votes)

93

Bob Hope

Comedian

37.21% (32 of 86 votes)

94

Aretha Franklin

Vocalist

37.21% (16 of 43 votes)

95

George Herbert Walker Bush

U.S. President

37.04% (100 of 270 votes)

96

Jesse Jackson

Advocate

35.36% (93 of 263 votes)

97

Rush Limbaugh

Radio Personality

35.22% (112 of 318 votes)

98

Nelson Mandela

World Leader

34.71% (59 of 170 votes)

99

Billy Graham

Religious Figure

34.00% (17 of 50 votes)

100

Marian Anderson

Vocalist

33.75% (27 of 80 votes)

101

James Stewart

Actor

33.54% (53 of 158 votes)

102

Pearl Bailey

Vocalist

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

103

Roger Baldwin

Advocate

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

104

Marian Wright Edelman

Advocate

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

105

Arnold Palmer

Golfer

33.33% (5 of 15 votes)

106

John Ford

Filmmaker

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

107

Roger Penske

Entrepreneur

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

108

Hank Aaron

Baseball Player

33.01% (34 of 103 votes)

109

Lucille Ball

Comedienne

32.53% (27 of 83 votes)

110

Nancy Davis Reagan

First Lady

32.53% (27 of 83 votes)

111

Jean Kennedy Smith

Politician

32.43% (12 of 37 votes)

112

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Philanthropist

32.26% (20 of 62 votes)

113

John McCain

U.S. Senator

32.10% (26 of 81 votes)

114

Katharine Hepburn

Actress

32.00% (16 of 50 votes)

115

Sargent Shriver

Politician

32.00% (32 of 100 votes)

116

Helen Keller

Advocate

31.71% (26 of 82 votes)

117

Frank Sinatra

Vocalist

31.71% (26 of 82 votes)

118

Antonin Scalia

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

31.13% (33 of 106 votes)

119

Dick Cheney

U.S. Vice President

30.77% (64 of 208 votes)

120

Rosa Parks

Advocate

30.08% (40 of 133 votes)

121

Devin Nunes

U.S. Congressman

30.0% (3 of 10 votes)

122

Muhammad Ali

Boxer

29.81% (48 of 161 votes)

123

Walter Cronkite

Commentator

29.68% (46 of 155 votes)

124

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Advocate

29.61% (106 of 358 votes)

125

Elvis Presley

Vocalist

28.47% (39 of 137 votes)

126

Pope John Paul II

Religious Figure

26.32% (10 of 38 votes)

127

Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.

U.S. Senator

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

128

Warren Buffett

Financier

21.21% (7 of 33 votes)

129

Anthony Fauci

Doctor

20.0% (1 of 5 votes)

130

George McGovern

U.S. Senator

20.0% (1 of 5 votes)

131

Lou Holtz

Football Coach

16.67% (1 of 6 votes)

132

Ralph Ellison

Author

16.67% (1 of 6 votes)

133

James Cagney

Actor

14.29% (1 of 7 votes)

134

Rita Moreno

Actress

13.33% (2 of 15 votes)

135

Carol Burnett

Comedienne

12.50% (2 of 16 votes)

136

Patsy Mink

U.S. Congressman

12.50% (1 of 8 votes)

137

Bob Dole

U.S. Senator

12.12% (4 of 33 votes)

138

Doris Day

Actress

11.11% (1 of 9 votes)

139

Kirk Douglas

Actor

11.11% (2 of 18 votes)

140

Mister Fred Rogers

TV Personality

10.0% (2 of 20 votes)

141

Andy Griffith

Actor

10.0% (1 of 10 votes)

142

Frank Robinson

Baseball Player

5.88% (1 of 17 votes)

143

Orrin Hatch

U.S. Senator

5.56% (1 of 18 votes)

144

J. Willard Marriott

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 0 votes)

145

Earl 'Red' Blaik

Football Coach

0% (0 of 1 votes)

146

Robert Solow

Economist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

147

Fred Gray

Attorney

0% (0 of 1 votes)

148

Vernon A. Walters

Diplomat

0% (0 of 0 votes)

149

Diane Nash

Advocate

0% (0 of 1 votes)

150

Adela Rogers St. Johns

Commentator

0% (0 of 0 votes)

151

Jim Ryun

Athlete

0% (0 of 0 votes)

152

Dan Gable

Wrestler

0% (0 of 5 votes)

153

Jerry West

Basketball Player

0% (0 of 1 votes)

154

Roger Staubach

Football Player

0% (0 of 5 votes)

155

Ed Meese

U.S. Attorney General

0% (0 of 0 votes)

156

Arthur Laffer

Economist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

157

Frank Reynolds

Commentator

0% (0 of 0 votes)

158

Ella Grasso

U.S. Governor

0% (0 of 1 votes)

159

Clark Clifford

Attorney

0% (0 of 0 votes)

160

Karl Menninger

Doctor

0% (0 of 0 votes)

161

Rudolf Serkin

Musician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

162

Mike Mansfield

U.S. Senator

0% (0 of 0 votes)

163

Lewis Mumford

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

164

Bob Michel

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 0 votes)

165

Joe Medicine Crow

Native American Icon

0% (0 of 1 votes)

166

Gene Krantz

Bureaucrat

0% (0 of 0 votes)

167

Melvin Laird

Politician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

168

William Ruckelshaus

Politician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

169

Millard Fuller

Philanthropist

0% (0 of 2 votes)

170

Van Cliburn

Musician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

171

Andrew Wyeth

Artist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

172

Roger Tory Peterson

Author

0% (0 of 2 votes)

173

John Bardeen

Scientist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

174

Peggy Charren

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

175

Alexander Calder

Artist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

176

Denton A. Cooley

Doctor

0% (0 of 0 votes)

177

Margaret Hamilton (Software Engineer)

Computer Tech

0% (0 of 2 votes)

178

Caspar Weinberger

Politician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

179

Carl Vinson

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 0 votes)

180

Meredith Willson

Songwriter

0% (0 of 0 votes)

181

Samuel Eliot Morison

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

182

Gordon Moore

Computer Tech

0% (0 of 1 votes)

183

Helen Hayes

Actress

0% (0 of 2 votes)

184

Gregory Peck

Actor

0% (0 of 2 votes)

185

Bear Bryant

Football Coach

0% (0 of 2 votes)

186

Moe Berg

Baseball Player

0% (0 of 0 votes)

187

Kate Smith

Vocalist

0% (0 of 2 votes)

188

Julia Child

Chef

0% (0 of 1 votes)

189

Albert Sabin

Doctor

0% (0 of 0 votes)

190

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Golfer

0% (0 of 1 votes)

191

Walter Brennan

Actor

0% (0 of 1 votes)

192

Arthur Ashe

Tennis Player

0% (0 of 3 votes)

193

Martha Graham

Choreographer

0% (0 of 0 votes)

194

Irving Berlin

Composer

0% (0 of 0 votes)

195

Aaron Copland

Composer

0% (0 of 1 votes)

196

James Doolittle

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 0 votes)

197

Sam Walton

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 0 votes)

198

John Steinbeck

Author

0% (0 of 3 votes)

199

Roberto Clemente

Baseball Player

0% (0 of 11 votes)

200

Omar Bradley

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 1 votes)

201

Gaylord Nelson

Politician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

202

John L. Lewis

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

203

Michael E. DeBakey

Doctor

0% (0 of 0 votes)

204

Ella Fitzgerald

Vocalist

0% (0 of 2 votes)

205

Norman Rockwell

Artist

0% (0 of 2 votes)

206

Chuck Yeager

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 2 votes)

207

Danny Kaye

Comedian

0% (0 of 1 votes)

208

Norman Borlaug

Scientist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

209

Cesar Chavez

Advocate

0% (0 of 23 votes)

210

Georgia O'Keeffe

Artist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

211

Irving Kristol

Commentator

0% (0 of 0 votes)

212

Willem De Kooning

Artist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

213

H. Norman Schwarzkopf

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 0 votes)

214

Paul Harvey

Commentator

0% (0 of 0 votes)

215

Richard B. Myers

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 0 votes)

216

George Tenet

Spy

0% (0 of 0 votes)

217

Brooke Astor

Philanthropist

0% (0 of 1 votes)

218

Nelson Rockefeller

U.S. Vice President

0% (0 of 1 votes)

219

Earl Warren

U.S. Chief Justice

0% (0 of 3 votes)

220

Placido Domingo

Vocalist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

221

Hubert H. Humphrey

U.S. Vice President

0% (0 of 2 votes)

222

Charlie Sifford

Golfer

0% (0 of 0 votes)

223

George Meany

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

224

Fred Korematsu

Advocate

0% (0 of 2 votes)

225

Margaret Mead

Scientist

0% (0 of 2 votes)

226

Jeanne Kirkpatrick

Diplomat

0% (0 of 0 votes)

227

Paul Rusesabagina

Hero

0% (0 of 0 votes)

228

Arthur Goldberg

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

0% (0 of 0 votes)

229

Helen B. Taussig

Doctor

0% (0 of 1 votes)

230

Dean Rusk

U.S. Secretary of State

0% (0 of 0 votes)

231

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Vocalist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

232

Brian Lamb

TV Personality

0% (0 of 1 votes)

233

David Packard

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 0 votes)

234

Edwin H. Land

Inventor

0% (0 of 1 votes)

235

James L. Farmer, Jr.

Advocate

0% (0 of 2 votes)

236

Walter Annenberg

Publisher

0% (0 of 2 votes)

237

Joan Ganz Cooney

Producer

0% (0 of 0 votes)

238

Jaime Escalante

Mathematician

0% (0 of 1 votes)

239

Benjamin Hooks

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

240

George F. Kennan

Diplomat

0% (0 of 1 votes)

241

Felix Frankfurter

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

0% (0 of 1 votes)

242

Juan Trippe

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 2 votes)

243

John Von Neumann

Mathematician

0% (0 of 1 votes)

244

Eugene Ormandy

Conductor

0% (0 of 0 votes)

245

Stan Musial

Baseball Player

0% (0 of 4 votes)

246

Bill Russell

Basketball Player

0% (0 of 1 votes)

247

James B. Reston

Commentator

0% (0 of 0 votes)

248

Matthew Ridgway

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 0 votes)

249

Whitney Young

Advocate

0% (0 of 1 votes)

250

Artur Rubinstein

Musician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

251

Jacques Barzun

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

252

Claude Pepper

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 0 votes)

253

Cyrus Vance

U.S. Secretary of State

0% (0 of 0 votes)

254

Jan Karski

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 0 votes)

255

Tip O'Neill

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 0 votes)

256

Fred Haise

Astronaut

0% (0 of 0 votes)

257

Jack Swigert

Astronaut

0% (0 of 1 votes)

258

Isaac Stern

Violinist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

259

Peter Drucker

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

260

Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 1 votes)

261

Edward Teller

Scientist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

262

Alan Greenspan

Economist

0% (0 of 1 votes)

263

Helmut Kohl

World Leader

0% (0 of 2 votes)

264

James Michener

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

265

Clare Boothe Luce

Commentator

0% (0 of 1 votes)

266

I.M. Pei

Architect

0% (0 of 0 votes)

267

Simon Wiesenthal

Victim

0% (0 of 1 votes)

268

Ed Brooke

U.S. Senator

0% (0 of 1 votes)

269

Dean Acheson

U.S. Secretary of State

0% (0 of 0 votes)

270

James Brady

Commentator

0% (0 of 5 votes)

271

John H. Johnson

Publisher

0% (0 of 0 votes)

272

William F. Buckley, Jr.

Commentator

0% (0 of 1 votes)

273

Byron White

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

0% (0 of 5 votes)

274

William Stephenson

Spy

0% (0 of 0 votes)

275

Reinhold Niebuhr

Religious Figure

0% (0 of 2 votes)

276

John Kenneth Galbraith

Economist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

277

Friedrich Hayek

Economist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

278

George Shultz

U.S. Secretary of State

0% (0 of 0 votes)

279

Norman Vincent Peale

Religious Figure

0% (0 of 0 votes)

280

Elliot Richardson

Politician

0% (0 of 2 votes)

281

Barbara Jordan

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 2 votes)

282

Nancy Wake

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 1 votes)

283

George Balanchine

Choreographer

0% (0 of 0 votes)

284

Margaret 'Mardy' Murie

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

285

Dave Thomas (Restaurateur)

Restaurateur

0% (0 of 2 votes)

286

C. Everett Koop

Doctor

0% (0 of 1 votes)

287

Walt Disney

Animator

0% (0 of 5 votes)

288

Estee Lauder

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 0 votes)

289

Carl Sandburg

Poet

0% (0 of 0 votes)

290

T.S. Eliot

Poet

0% (0 of 1 votes)

291

Edward R. Murrow

Commentator

0% (0 of 11 votes)

292

Ted Williams

Baseball Player

0% (0 of 1 votes)

293

Jonas Salk

Scientist

0% (0 of 2 votes)

294

Robert S. McNamara

Politician

0% (0 of 0 votes)