Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards

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About the Awards

The Four Freedoms Awards are presented to men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to those principles which President Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress on January 6, 1941, as essential to democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.

The Roosevelt Institute has awarded the Four Freedoms Medals to some of the most distinguished Americans and world citizens of our time, including Presidents Truman, Carter, and Clinton; H.R.H. Princess Juliana of the Netherlands; Nelson Mandela; J. William Fulbright; Arthur Miller; and Desmond Tutu. The Awards are presented in New York City every other year; international awards are given by the Roosevelt Stichting of the Netherlands on alternate years.

For highlights from the 2015 Awards, please click here.

2015 Laureates

The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States

Freedom Medal

Arthur Mitchell

Founder, Dance Theatre of Harlem

Freedom of Speech and Expression

Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade

Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health, the University of Chicago

Freedom from Want

Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II

Pastor, Green Leaf Christian Church, Architect of the Moral Mondays/Forward Together Movement; President, North Carolina NAACP

Freedom of Worship

“The Nation”

Led by Katrina vanden Heuvel

United States’ oldest weekly publication

Freedom from Fear

 

Past Laureates

2013

Freedom Medal Wendell Berry

Freedom of Speech Paul Krugman

Freedom of Worship Sister Simone Campbell

Freedom from Want Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Freedom from Fear Ameena Matthews

2012

Freedom Medal Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Freedom of Speech Al Jazeera

Freedom of Worship His All Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew I

Freedom from Want Ela Ramesh Bhatt

Freedom from Fear Hussain al-Shahristani

2011

Freedom Medal Russell D. Feingold

Freedom of Speech Michael J. Copps

Freedom of Worship Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Freedom from Want Jacqueline Novogratz

Freedom from Fear Bryan A. Stevenson

2010

Freedom Medal European Court of Human Rights

Freedom of Speech Novaya Gazeta

Freedom of Worship Asma Jahangir

Freedom from Want Maurice Strong

Freedom from Fear Gareth Evans

2009

Freedom Medal Hillary Clinton

Freedom of Speech Anthony Romero

Freedom of Worship Eboo Patel

Freedom from Want Vicki Escarra

Freedom from Fear Pasquale D’Amuro

2008

Freedom Medal Richard von Weizsacker

Freedom of Speech Lakhdar Brahimi

Freedom of Worship Karen Armstrong

Freedom from Want Jan Egeland

Freedom from Fear War Child Netherlands

2008  

Special Presentation

Freedom Medal Forrest Church

2007

Freedom Medal Carl Levin & Richard Lugar

Freedom of Speech Bill Moyers

Freedom of Worship Peter J. Gomes

Freedom from Want Barbara Ehrenreich

Freedom from Fear Brent Scowcroft

2006   

Special Presentation

Freedom of Speech Mike Wallace

2006

Freedom Medal Mohamed ElBaradei

Freedom of Speech Carlos Fuentes

Freedom of Worship The Taize Community

Freedom from Want Muhammad Yunus

Freedom from Fear Aung San Suu Kyi

2005

Freedom Medal President William J. Clinton

Freedom of Speech Tom Brokaw

Freedom of Worship Cornel R. West

Freedom from Want Marsha J. Evans

Freedom from Fear Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas J. Kean

2005

Special Presentation

Freedom Medal The Lady Soames, LG, DBE

Freedom of Speech The BBC World Service

2004   

Special Presentation

Freedom from Want Anton Rupert

Freedom from Fear Robert J. Dole

2004

Freedom Medal Kofi Annan

Freedom of Speech Lennart Meri

Freedom of Worship Sari Nusselbeh

Freedom from Want Marguerite Barankitse

Freedom from Fear Max Kohnstamm

2003

Freedom Medal George J. Mitchell

Freedom of Speech Studs Terkel

Freedom of Worship Robert F. Drinan

Freedom from Want Dolores Huerta

Freedom from Fear Robert C. Byrd

2003  

Special Presentation

Freedom Medal Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

2002

Freedom Medal President Nelson Mandela

Freedom of Speech Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Freedom of Worship Nasr H. Abu Zayd

Freedom from Want Gro Harlem Brundtland

Freedom from Fear Ernesto Zedillo

2002  

Special Presentation

Freedom Medal William J. vanden Heuvel           

2001

Freedom Medal & Freedom from Fear

The Veterans of World War II

Richard D. Winters (US Army)

Robert E. Bush (US Navy)

William T. Ketcham (US Marine Corps)

Lee A. Archer, Jr. (US Air Force)

Ellen Buckley (US Army Nurse Corps)

Freedom of Speech New York Times & Ochs/Sulzberger Family

Freedom of Worship Johnnie Rebecca Carr

Freedom from Want The March of Dimes

2000

Freedom Medal Martti Ahtisaari

Freedom of Speech Bronislaw Geremek

Freedom of Worship Cicely Saunders

Freedom from Want Monkombu S. Swaminathan

Freedom from Fear Louise Arbour

1999

Freedom Medal The Hon. Edward M. Kennedy

Freedom of Speech The Hon. John Lewis

Freedom of Worship The Hon. Corinne C. Boggs

Freedom from Want The Hon. George S. McGovern

Freedom from Fear Robert O. Muller

1998

Freedom Medal President Mary Robinson

Freedom of Speech CNN

Freedom of Worship The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu

Freedom from Want Stephane Hessel

Freedom from Fear Craig Kielburger

1997

Freedom Medal Katharine Meyer Graham

Freedom of Speech The Hon. Sidney R. Yates

Freedom of Worship The Hon. William H. Gray

Freedom from Want The Hon. Mark O. Hatfield

Freedom from Fear The Hon. Daniel K. Inouye

1996

Freedom Medal His Majesty Juan Carlos of Spain

Freedom of Speech John Hume

Freedom of Worship The Right Reverend Lord Runcle

Freedom from Want Médecins Sans Frontières

Freedom from Fear President Shimon Peres

1995

Freedom Medal President Jimmy Carter

Freedom of Speech Mary McGrory

Freedom of Worship Andrew Young

Freedom from Want Lane Kirkland

Freedom from Fear Elliott Richardson

1995  

Special Presentation

Freedom Medal Jonas Salk

Freedom Medal Ruud Lubbers

1994

Freedom Medal His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Freedom of Speech Marion Countess Donhoff

Freedom of Worship Gerhart M. Riegner

Freedom from Want Mrs. Sadako Ogata

Freedom from Fear Zdravko Grebo

1993

Freedom Medal The Hon. Cyrus Vance

Freedom of Speech Arthur Miller

Freedom of Worship Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh

Freedom from Want Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver

Freedom from Fear George Ball

1992

Freedom Medal The Hon. Javier Perez de Cuellar

Freedom of Speech Mstislav Rostropovich

Freedom of Worship Terry White

Freedom from Want Jan Tinbergen

Freedom from Fear The Right Honorable Lord Carrington

1991

Freedom Medal The Hon. Thurgood Marshall

Freedom of Speech James B. Reston

Freedom of Worship The Right Reverend Paul Moore, Jr.

Freedom from Want Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward

Freedom from Fear Mike Mansfield

1990

Freedom Medal President Vaclav Havel

Freedom of Speech Jacques DeLors

Freedom of Worship Lazlo Tokes

Freedom from Want Emile van Lennep

Freedom from Fear Simon Wiesenthal

1990  

Special Presentation

Freedom Medal President Mikhail Gorbachev

1989

Freedom Medal William J. Brennan, Jr.

Freedom of Speech Walter Cronkite

Freedom of Worship Raphael Lemkin (posthumously), Herman Bookbinder

Freedom from Want Dr. Dorothy I. Height

Freedom from Fear J. William Fulbright

1988

Freedom Medal Helmut Schmidt

Freedom of Speech President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Freedom of Worship Teddy Kollek

Freedom from Want Dr. Halfdan T. Mahler

Freedom from Fear Dr. Armand Hammer

1987

Freedom Medal The Hon. Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr.

Freedom of Speech Herbert Block

Freedom of Worship Rev. Leon Sullivan

Freedom from Want Mary Lasker

Freedom from Fear Dr. George Kennan

1986

Freedom Medal President Allesandro Pertini

Freedom of Speech El Pais

Freedom of Worship Bernardus Cardinal Alfrink

Freedom from Want The Hon. Bradford Morse

Freedom from Fear Olof Palme

1985

Freedom Medal The Hon. Claude Pepper

Freedom of Speech Dr. Kenneth B. Clark

Freedom of Worship Elie Wiesel

Freedom from Want Dr. John Kenneth Galbraith

Freedom from Fear Dr. Isidor Rabi

1984

Freedom Medal Harold MacMillan

Freedom of Speech Amnesty International

Freedom of Worship Werner Leich, Christiann F. Beyers Naude

Freedom from Want Liv Ullman

Freedom from Fear Brian Urquhart

1983

Freedom Medal The Hon. W. Averell Harriman

Freedom of Speech Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.

Freedom of Worship Coretta Scott King

Freedom from Want The Hon. Robert S. McNamara

Freedom from Fear The Hon. Jacob K. Javits

1982

Freedom Medal HRH Princess Juliana of the Netherlands

Freedom of Speech Max van der Stoel

Freedom of Worship William A. Visser ‘t Hooft

Freedom from Want H. Johannes Witteveen

Freedom from Fear J. Herman van Roijen