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

George Meany

Advocate

100% (1 of 1 votes)

4

James Baker

U.S. Secretary of State

100% (1 of 1 votes)

5

Brian Lamb

TV Personality

100% (4 of 4 votes)

6

David Packard

Entrepreneur

100% (1 of 1 votes)

7

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Politician

100% (2 of 2 votes)

8

Hyman Rickover

Military Personnel

100% (1 of 1 votes)

9

Juan Trippe

Entrepreneur

100% (1 of 1 votes)

10

Milton Friedman

Economist

100% (1 of 1 votes)

11

Friedrich Hayek

Economist

100% (1 of 1 votes)

12

William Stephenson

Spy

100% (1 of 1 votes)

13

William F. Buckley, Jr.

Commentator

100% (2 of 2 votes)

14

Walter Cronkite

Commentator

100% (2 of 2 votes)

15

Robert S. McNamara

Politician

100% (3 of 3 votes)

16

Willem De Kooning

Artist

100% (1 of 1 votes)

17

Samuel Goldwyn

Producer

100% (1 of 1 votes)

18

Roger Tory Peterson

Author

100% (2 of 2 votes)

19

Margaret Hamilton (Software Engineer)

Computer Tech

100% (1 of 1 votes)

20

Caspar Weinberger

Politician

100% (1 of 1 votes)

21

Ella Grasso

U.S. Governor

100% (3 of 3 votes)

22

Nelson Rockefeller

U.S. Vice President

83.33% (5 of 6 votes)

23

Jesse Jackson

Advocate

78.26% (18 of 23 votes)

24

William H. Webster

Politician

75.00% (3 of 4 votes)

25

Dick Cheney

U.S. Vice President

72.41% (21 of 29 votes)

26

Bear Bryant

Football Coach

71.43% (5 of 7 votes)

27

Charlton Heston

Actor

70.55% (115 of 163 votes)

28

James Stewart

Actor

69.70% (92 of 132 votes)

29

Wesley Clark

Military Personnel

66.67% (2 of 3 votes)

30

Michael E. DeBakey

Doctor

66.67% (2 of 3 votes)

31

Clark Clifford

Attorney

66.67% (2 of 3 votes)

32

Norman Podhoretz

Commentator

66.67% (4 of 6 votes)

33

Paul Harvey

Commentator

62.50% (5 of 8 votes)

34

Andy Griffith

Actor

59.82% (131 of 219 votes)

35

Lucille Ball

Comedienne

57.44% (112 of 195 votes)

36

Rosa Parks

Advocate

57.07% (117 of 205 votes)

37

Anthony Fauci

Doctor

57.04% (915 of 1604 votes)

38

Ben Carson

Doctor

56.85% (303 of 533 votes)

39

Aretha Franklin

Vocalist

56.82% (75 of 132 votes)

40

Donald Rumsfeld

Politician

56.67% (34 of 60 votes)

41

Walt Disney

Animator

56.59% (73 of 129 votes)

42

Muhammad Ali

Boxer

56.57% (198 of 350 votes)

43

Warren Buffett

Financier

56.38% (243 of 431 votes)

44

Jackie Robinson

Baseball Player

56.11% (101 of 180 votes)

45

Frank Sinatra

Vocalist

56.10% (69 of 123 votes)

46

Rita Moreno

Actress

56.02% (186 of 332 votes)

47

Doris Day

Actress

55.95% (94 of 168 votes)

48

Katharine Hepburn

Actress

55.91% (52 of 93 votes)

49

Rush Limbaugh

Radio Personality

55.63% (173 of 311 votes)

50

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

U.S. President

55.46% (66 of 119 votes)

51

James Earl Carter

U.S. President

55.40% (77 of 139 votes)

52

Nelson Mandela

World Leader

55.30% (73 of 132 votes)

53

Gerald Ford

U.S. President

55.28% (68 of 123 votes)

54

Lyndon Baines Johnson

U.S. President

55.06% (49 of 89 votes)

55

Marian Anderson

Vocalist

55.03% (82 of 149 votes)

56

Andrew Young, Jr.

U.S. Congressman

55.00% (11 of 20 votes)

57

Julia Child

Chef

54.78% (63 of 115 votes)

58

Angela Merkel

World Leader

54.69% (105 of 192 votes)

59

Anwar Sadat

World Leader

54.65% (47 of 86 votes)

60

Roberto Clemente

Baseball Player

54.64% (100 of 183 votes)

61

Georgia O'Keeffe

Artist

54.55% (78 of 143 votes)

62

Gerda Weissmann Klein

Advocate

54.41% (74 of 136 votes)

63

Bill Russell

Basketball Player

54.36% (106 of 195 votes)

64

Norman Rockwell

Artist

54.34% (94 of 173 votes)

65

Kirk Douglas

Actor

54.33% (69 of 127 votes)

66

Frank Robinson

Baseball Player

54.29% (57 of 105 votes)

67

Orrin Hatch

U.S. Senator

54.25% (83 of 153 votes)

68

John Wooden

Basketball Player

54.23% (173 of 319 votes)

69

Johnny Carson

Comedian

54.14% (98 of 181 votes)

70

Bill Cosby

Comedian

54.11% (217 of 401 votes)

71

Maya Angelou

Poet

54.03% (67 of 124 votes)

72

Dave Thomas (Restaurateur)

Restaurateur

54.00% (54 of 100 votes)

73

Pope John Paul II

Religious Figure

53.95% (82 of 152 votes)

74

Joe Medicine Crow

Native American Icon

53.77% (57 of 106 votes)

75

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Advocate

53.75% (308 of 573 votes)

76

John Lewis

U.S. Congressman

53.61% (141 of 263 votes)

77

Bob Hope

Comedian

53.38% (79 of 148 votes)

78

Colin Powell

U.S. Secretary of State

53.04% (131 of 247 votes)

79

Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

Religious Figure

52.84% (93 of 176 votes)

80

George Herbert Walker Bush

U.S. President

52.70% (78 of 148 votes)

81

Helen Keller

Advocate

52.27% (69 of 132 votes)

82

Hank Aaron

Baseball Player

50.96% (852 of 1672 votes)

83

Helmut Kohl

World Leader

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

84

Peter Drucker

Author

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

85

I.M. Pei

Architect

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

86

John H. Johnson

Publisher

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

87

Jan Karski

Military Personnel

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

88

Warren Christopher

U.S. Secretary of State

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

89

Rosalynn Carter

First Lady

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

90

Kate Smith

Vocalist

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

91

Martha Graham

Choreographer

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

92

Sam Walton

Entrepreneur

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

93

Gaylord Nelson

Politician

50.0% (2 of 4 votes)

94

Henry Kissinger

U.S. Secretary of State

50.0% (5 of 10 votes)

95

Irving Kristol

Commentator

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

96

Richard B. Myers

Military Personnel

50.0% (2 of 4 votes)

97

Carl Vinson

U.S. Congressman

50.0% (1 of 2 votes)

98

Ronald Reagan

U.S. President

48.08% (612 of 1273 votes)

99

John Wayne

Actor

46.43% (13 of 28 votes)

100

Byron White

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

40.0% (2 of 5 votes)

101

Joe DiMaggio

Baseball Player

36.67% (11 of 30 votes)

102

George Tenet

Spy

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

103

Denton A. Cooley

Doctor

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

104

Mike Mansfield

U.S. Senator

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

105

Barbara Jordan

U.S. Congressman

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

106

J. William Fulbright

U.S. Senator

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

107

Alan Greenspan

Economist

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

108

Eugene Ormandy

Conductor

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

109

John Foster Dulles

Politician

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

110

Paul Rusesabagina

Hero

33.33% (1 of 3 votes)

111

Nancy Davis Reagan

First Lady

32.35% (11 of 34 votes)

112

Neil Armstrong

Astronaut

29.41% (5 of 17 votes)

113

Charlie Sifford

Golfer

28.57% (2 of 7 votes)

114

Billy Graham

Religious Figure

28.57% (4 of 14 votes)

115

Bob Dole

U.S. Senator

25.00% (2 of 8 votes)

116

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

U.S. Senator

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

117

Arthur Ashe

Tennis Player

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

118

Omar Bradley

Military Personnel

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

119

Edmund Muskie

U.S. Senator

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

120

Margaret Mead

Scientist

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

121

Felix Frankfurter

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

122

Tony Blair

World Leader

25.00% (6 of 24 votes)

123

Jack Swigert

Astronaut

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

124

Dean Acheson

U.S. Secretary of State

25.00% (1 of 4 votes)

125

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Vocalist

22.22% (2 of 9 votes)

126

Lloyd Bentsen, Jr.

U.S. Senator

20.0% (2 of 10 votes)

127

Simon Wiesenthal

Victim

16.67% (1 of 6 votes)

128

Gregory Peck

Actor

16.67% (1 of 6 votes)

129

Jack Nicklaus

Golfer

16.67% (1 of 6 votes)

130

John L. Lewis

Advocate

14.29% (1 of 7 votes)

131

John Von Neumann

Mathematician

14.29% (1 of 7 votes)

132

Margaret Thatcher

World Leader

12.50% (1 of 8 votes)

133

Carol Burnett

Comedienne

12.50% (1 of 8 votes)

134

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Explorer

12.50% (1 of 8 votes)

135

George McGovern

U.S. Senator

12.50% (1 of 8 votes)

136

H. Norman Schwarzkopf

Military Personnel

12.50% (1 of 8 votes)

137

Mister Fred Rogers

TV Personality

11.76% (2 of 17 votes)

138

Jean Kennedy Smith

Politician

7.69% (3 of 39 votes)

139

Jaime Escalante

Mathematician

7.14% (1 of 14 votes)

140

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Philanthropist

5.71% (2 of 35 votes)

141

John Ford

Filmmaker

5.26% (1 of 19 votes)

142

Sargent Shriver

Politician

5.13% (2 of 39 votes)

143

Cesar Chavez

Advocate

0% (0 of 16 votes)

144

Thurgood Marshall

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

0% (0 of 12 votes)

145

Rachel Carson

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

146

Barry Goldwater

U.S. Senator

0% (0 of 13 votes)

147

Elie Wiesel

Author

0% (0 of 5 votes)

148

Brooke Astor

Philanthropist

0% (0 of 3 votes)

149

Earl Warren

U.S. Chief Justice

0% (0 of 2 votes)

150

Placido Domingo

Vocalist

0% (0 of 1 votes)

151

Hubert H. Humphrey

U.S. Vice President

0% (0 of 0 votes)

152

Tommy Franks

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 2 votes)

153

Danny Kaye

Comedian

0% (0 of 3 votes)

154

L. Paul Bremer

Diplomat

0% (0 of 0 votes)

155

Norman Borlaug

Scientist

0% (0 of 1 votes)

156

Chuck Yeager

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 5 votes)

157

Ella Fitzgerald

Vocalist

0% (0 of 1 votes)

158

Arnold Palmer

Golfer

0% (0 of 7 votes)

159

Moe Berg

Baseball Player

0% (0 of 1 votes)

160

Helen Hayes

Actress

0% (0 of 2 votes)

161

Irving Berlin

Composer

0% (0 of 0 votes)

162

Aaron Copland

Composer

0% (0 of 1 votes)

163

James Doolittle

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 3 votes)

164

Peggy Charren

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

165

Eric Hoffer

Philosopher

0% (0 of 1 votes)

166

John Bardeen

Scientist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

167

Albert Sabin

Doctor

0% (0 of 0 votes)

168

Millard Fuller

Philanthropist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

169

Ansel Adams

Photographer

0% (0 of 0 votes)

170

Van Cliburn

Musician

0% (0 of 2 votes)

171

Andrew Wyeth

Artist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

172

James Cagney

Actor

0% (0 of 1 votes)

173

Walter Brennan

Actor

0% (0 of 9 votes)

174

John Steinbeck

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

175

Pablo Casals

Musician

0% (0 of 1 votes)

176

Alexander Calder

Artist

0% (0 of 0 votes)

177

Edward Steichen

Photographer

0% (0 of 0 votes)

178

Bob Michel

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 2 votes)

179

Meredith Willson

Songwriter

0% (0 of 3 votes)

180

Archbishop Iakavos of America

Religious Figure

0% (0 of 1 votes)

181

Lewis Mumford

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

182

Gene Krantz

Bureaucrat

0% (0 of 1 votes)

183

Melvin Laird

Politician

0% (0 of 1 votes)

184

William Ruckelshaus

Politician

0% (0 of 6 votes)

185

Karl Menninger

Doctor

0% (0 of 8 votes)

186

Rudolf Serkin

Musician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

187

Patsy Mink

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 5 votes)

188

Frank Reynolds

Commentator

0% (0 of 1 votes)

189

Alan Page

Football Player

0% (0 of 2 votes)

190

Edgar Bronfman, Sr.

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 3 votes)

191

Margaret 'Mardy' Murie

Advocate

0% (0 of 2 votes)

192

Ed Brooke

U.S. Senator

0% (0 of 2 votes)

193

James Brady

Commentator

0% (0 of 2 votes)

194

George Balanchine

Choreographer

0% (0 of 2 votes)

195

Brent Scowcroft

Crime Fighter

0% (0 of 0 votes)

196

Clare Boothe Luce

Commentator

0% (0 of 2 votes)

197

Nancy Wake

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 0 votes)

198

Reinhold Niebuhr

Religious Figure

0% (0 of 1 votes)

199

John Kenneth Galbraith

Economist

0% (0 of 1 votes)

200

A. Philip Randolph

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

201

George Shultz

U.S. Secretary of State

0% (0 of 2 votes)

202

Norman Vincent Peale

Religious Figure

0% (0 of 3 votes)

203

Elliot Richardson

Politician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

204

James Michener

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

205

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Advocate

0% (0 of 1 votes)

206

Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 0 votes)

207

Edward Teller

Scientist

0% (0 of 2 votes)

208

Roger Baldwin

Advocate

0% (0 of 1 votes)

209

Isaac Stern

Violinist

0% (0 of 7 votes)

210

Tip O'Neill

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 1 votes)

211

Pearl Bailey

Vocalist

0% (0 of 1 votes)

212

Ted Williams

Baseball Player

0% (0 of 8 votes)

213

Jonas Salk

Scientist

0% (0 of 14 votes)

214

Warren Burger

U.S. Chief Justice

0% (0 of 6 votes)

215

C. Everett Koop

Doctor

0% (0 of 0 votes)

216

Estee Lauder

Entrepreneur

0% (0 of 1 votes)

217

Carl Sandburg

Poet

0% (0 of 3 votes)

218

T.S. Eliot

Poet

0% (0 of 3 votes)

219

Edward R. Murrow

Commentator

0% (0 of 12 votes)

220

Roy Wilkins

Advocate

0% (0 of 1 votes)

221

Stan Musial

Baseball Player

0% (0 of 16 votes)

222

Jesse Owens

Athlete

0% (0 of 1 votes)

223

Fred Haise

Astronaut

0% (0 of 0 votes)

224

Mstislav Rostropovich

Musician

0% (0 of 1 votes)

225

Benjamin Hooks

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

226

George F. Kennan

Diplomat

0% (0 of 0 votes)

227

Muhammad Yunus

Economist

0% (0 of 1 votes)

228

Yo-Yo Ma

Musician

0% (0 of 3 votes)

229

James B. Reston

Commentator

0% (0 of 1 votes)

230

Matthew Ridgway

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 2 votes)

231

Whitney Young

Advocate

0% (0 of 1 votes)

232

Artur Rubinstein

Musician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

233

A.M. Rosenthal

Commentator

0% (0 of 1 votes)

234

McGeorge Bundy

Politician

0% (0 of 0 votes)

235

Joan Ganz Cooney

Producer

0% (0 of 4 votes)

236

Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr.

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 1 votes)

237

Walter Annenberg

Publisher

0% (0 of 0 votes)

238

Marian Wright Edelman

Advocate

0% (0 of 1 votes)

239

Arthur Goldberg

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

0% (0 of 2 votes)

240

Helen B. Taussig

Doctor

0% (0 of 5 votes)

241

Dean Rusk

U.S. Secretary of State

0% (0 of 2 votes)

242

Edwin H. Land

Inventor

0% (0 of 5 votes)

243

Ralph Bunche

Diplomat

0% (0 of 1 votes)

244

W. Averell Harriman

U.S. Governor

0% (0 of 0 votes)

245

Edmund Wilson

Author

0% (0 of 2 votes)

246

Jacques Barzun

Author

0% (0 of 0 votes)

247

Claude Pepper

U.S. Congressman

0% (0 of 1 votes)

248

Cyrus Vance

U.S. Secretary of State

0% (0 of 2 votes)

249

Jeanne Kirkpatrick

Diplomat

0% (0 of 3 votes)

250

Ralph Ellison

Author

0% (0 of 2 votes)

251

Arleigh Burke

Military Personnel

0% (0 of 1 votes)

252

Vaclav Havel

World Leader

0% (0 of 2 votes)

253

James L. Farmer, Jr.

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

254

Whittaker Chambers

Commentator

0% (0 of 0 votes)

255

Fred Korematsu

Advocate

0% (0 of 0 votes)

256

Katherine Johnson

Mathematician

0% (0 of 4 votes)

257

Lew Wasserman

Agent

0% (0 of 1 votes)