Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards


About the Awards

The Four Freedoms Awards are presented to men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to the 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 every other year; international awards are given by the Roosevelt Stichting of the Netherlands on alternate years.


Like many other events, the Four Freedoms Awards ceremony had to be postponed on April 14 in Middelburg because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

People all over the world are confronted with the consequences of this pandemic. Millions of people live with the limitations of various forms of lockdown, which are supposed to stop the spread of the virus, hundreds of thousands of people have been infected by the virus, and thousands have died as a result.

These are definitely challenging times. With his positive vision of a world based on 4 freedoms, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt contrasted hope and faith with bitterness and fear in his own time. Following his example, the Four Freedoms Awards Laureates 2020 and the Roosevelt Foundation want to bring a message of hope to all those who now also live in fear and are limited in their freedom as a result of the pandemic and express their support to all those who are committed to their fellow man in this difficult time.

Past Laureates


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Watch the event livestream here.

Freedom Medal Lonnie Bunch

Freedom of Speech and Expression The Boston Globe

Freedom of Worship Krista Tippett

Freedom from Want Franklin Thomas

Freedom from Fear Sandy Hook Promise


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Freedom Medal Harry Belafonte

Freedom of Speech Dan Rather

Freedom of Worship Dr. Bashar A. Shala and Pastor Steve Stone

Freedom from Want Ai-jen Poo

Freedom from Fear Cristina Jiménez Moreta


Freedom Medal The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Freedom of Speech Arthur Mitchell

Freedom of Worship Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II

Freedom from Want Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade

Freedom from Fear Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation


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


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


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


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


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


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


Special Presentation

Freedom Medal Forrest Church


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


Special Presentation

Freedom of Speech Mike Wallace


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


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


Special Presentation

Freedom Medal The Lady Soames, LG, DBE

Freedom of Speech The BBC World Service


Special Presentation

Freedom from Want Anton Rupert

Freedom from Fear Robert J. Dole


Freedom Medal Kofi Annan

Freedom of Speech Lennart Meri

Freedom of Worship Sari Nusselbeh

Freedom from Want Marguerite Barankitse

Freedom from Fear Max Kohnstamm


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


Special Presentation

Freedom Medal Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.


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


Special Presentation

Freedom Medal William J. vanden Heuvel


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Special Presentation

Freedom Medal Jonas Salk

Freedom Medal Ruud Lubbers


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


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


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


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


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


Special Presentation

Freedom Medal President Mikhail Gorbachev


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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