The Memphis Commercial Appeal said Wednesday that this year's winners of the site's prestigious awards were Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, historian John Hope Franklin and former NBA star Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
The 47-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers standout was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award during Tuesday's ceremony for his dedication to helping rebuild neglected urban communities.
Johnson-Sirleaf was presented with the museum's International Freedom Award for her actions in her troubled African nation, an effort that once resulted in her imprisonment.
The museum also presented a Freedom Award to Franklin at the Pentecostal Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ, recognizing the Duke University professor's historical efforts for the African-American community.
The Commercial Appeal said the awards presentation was paired with a $1 million donation to the Tennessee museum from the Ford Motor Co. through its philanthropic arm.