South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a ceremony at the White House today, President Joe Biden announced that U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn (SC-06) will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The award, which is the nation’s highest civilian honor, will be presented on Friday, May 3, 2024.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is bestowed upon individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, as well as to world peace or other significant societal, public, or private endeavors.

Expressing his gratitude, Congressman (Bro.) Clyburn (MA ’68) said, “Words cannot express the profound honor and gratitude I feel upon receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This recognition is not only a testament to my work, but also to the countless individuals who have supported my journey; the giants who fought alongside me for justice, equity, and the pursuit of progress; and the support of my loving family.”

He continued, “I am immensely grateful to President Biden for this incredible honor and take seriously the responsibility it carries. While it serves as a recognition of one’s accomplishments, it is also an astute reminder of the challenges that lie ahead. It speaks to the duty each and every one of us has to further the founding fathers’ dream of a ‘more perfect union.’ I accept this award with deep humility and the promise to uphold this vision.”

Reflecting on his journey, Clyburn recalled his early activism, stating, “I reflect upon the moment I was elected president of my NAACP Youth Council in Sumter, South Carolina, at the age of 12. From leading student protests in Orangeburg, South Carolina, to marshaling majorities to pass consequential legislation in Congress, I have learned that we all have roles to play in making the greatness of this democracy accessible for everyone. I look forward to continuing my efforts to bend the arc of history towards justice and proving myself worthy of this incredible honor.”

In addition to Clyburn, the following individuals will also be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

  • – Michael R. Bloomberg
  • Gregory J. Boyle
  • Elizabeth Dole
  • Phil Donahue
  • Medgar Wiley Evers (posthumous)
  • Al Gore
  • Clarence B. Jones
  • John Forbes Kerry
  • Frank R. Lautenberg (posthumous)
  • Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky
  • Opal Lee
  • Ellen Ochoa
  • Speaker Emerita Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi
  • Jane Rigby
  • Teresa Romero
  • Judy Shepard
  • James Francis Thorpe (posthumous)
  • Michelle Yeoh

Photo Credit: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

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