On April 26, 2012, President Obama announced 13 recipients
of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. "Each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation," Obama said. "They've challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place."
Recipients not included in this gallery are former Assistant Attorney General John Doar, who fought to enforce civil rights in the 1960s; William Foege, a physician and epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox in the 1970s; Gordon Hirabayashi, a professor and advocate who openly defied the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; and Jan Karski, an officer of the Polish Underground during World War II who was among the first to share with the world his eye-witness account of the Holocaust.