Biden to Honor Pelosi, Gore, Bloomberg, Yeoh with Presidential Medals of Freedom

Prominent figures set to receive top U.S. civilian honors

by Zain ul Abedin
Biden to Honor Pelosi, Gore, Bloomberg, Yeoh with Presidential Medals of Freedom
© Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Joe Biden is set to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian accolade, to an illustrious group of individuals this Friday. The honorees, hailing from diverse sectors such as politics, activism, entertainment, and science, underscore a broad spectrum of American leadership and achievement.

Among the notable recipients are several prominent figures from Biden's political journey and beyond. These include his 2020 Democratic primary contenders, Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York City; former Vice President Al Gore; and the stalwart former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

The list also features Representative Jim Clyburn, former Senator Elizabeth Dole, and John Kerry, who recently served as Biden’s Climate Envoy and former Secretary of State. This year’s ceremony will also honor cultural and civil rights icons.

Opal Lee, often celebrated as the “grandmother of Juneteenth,” and Judy Shepard, who became an advocate against hate crimes following the tragic death of her son Matthew Shepard in 1998, are set to receive this prestigious honor.

Champions of Progress

The world of sports and science is equally represented. Oscar-winning actress Michelle Yeoh, who has recently garnered acclaim for her roles in leading films, will be recognized alongside Katie Ledecky, dubbed “the most decorated female swimmer in history”.

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, a trailblazer in the STEM field and the first Hispanic woman to venture into space aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993, will also be awarded. The White House has stated that these individuals were chosen for their exceptional commitment to building better futures through their respective fields.

They have led teams, coalitions, movements, and organizations that have significantly shaped American society for the better. Their careers exemplify the power of community, hard work, and dedicated service. As the nation looks forward to this prestigious ceremony, it reflects on the diverse contributions that continue to enrich and guide America towards a more inclusive and prosperous future.