Bob Dylan awarded National Medal of Freedom


Joan Baez and Bob Dylan sing together at a 1963 civil rights rally (Image courtesy National Archives/Getty Images )

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President Barack Obama today named Bob Dylan as one of the latest recipients of the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. Also honored are Madeleine Albright, John Glenn and Toni Morrison.

A release from the White House today describes the Medal of Freedom as being “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

The release continues to describe Duluth native Dylan as: “One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album in 1962. Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades. He has won 11 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award. He was named a Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Art et des Lettres and has received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Dylan was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts. He has written more than 600 songs, and his songs have been recorded more than 3,000 times by other artists. He continues recording and touring around the world today.”

The awards will be presented in the late spring