President Barack Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Steven Spielberg

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 5:00pm










USC Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg was one of 17 Americans to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Nov. 24. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is 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 awards were presented at the White House on November 24, 2015.

“From public servants who helped us meet defining challenges of our time to artists who expanded our imaginations, from leaders who have made our union more perfect to athletes who have inspired millions of fans, these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans,” Obama said in a statement.

Spielberg was honored for his historic filmmaking career as well as his efforts to overcome intolerance and hate through the use of visual history testimony as the founder of USC Shoah Foundation.

Other friends of USC Shoah Foundation were among this year’s honorees, including renowned violinist and Schindler’s List soloist Itzhak Perlman and Grammy Award-winning musician James Taylor, who was the musical performer at the Institute’s 2015 Ambassadors for Humanity gala in Detroit.

Obama received USC Shoah Foundation’s Ambassador for Humanity Award in May 2014.