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Highest Civilian Honor


Pres. Trump awarded the honor to golfer Tiger Woods.

The backstory on who qualifies for the award, and why it matters.

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“…tonight we are in the presence of a true legend.”

Pres. Trump about Tiger Woods who he calls a "global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive" for his athletic & charitable achievements. Woods just won the Masters for a fifth time, coming back from professional injuries & personal challenges, including high-profile infidelity as well as an arrest for driving under the influence. He's considered the 2nd greatest golfer of all time (after Jack Nicklaus who also received the honor).
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Tiger Woods

“You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows…I’ve battled.”

  • Youngest to win the Masters (1997) at 21; first African-American & Asian-American to win.
  • One of the oldest athletes to win the Masters (2019) at 43.
  • For 20 years, Woods’ TGR Foundation has provided $$ & programs for teachers & students.
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Origins of Award:

  • 1945: Pres. Truman wanted a way to honor civilians during WWII.
  • 1963: Pres. Kennedy expanded award to include cultural achievements; his chosen recipients were still honored after his assassination. Pres. LBJ also honored Pres. Kennedy w/the award posthumously.
  • POTUS has discretion on who gets award.
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How Do You Qualify?

“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 White House. Pres. Trump awarded 7 Americans the Medal of Freedom last November, including several posthumously, like Elvis Presley & Babe Ruth.
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Past recipients include: Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, Rosa Parks, Gloria Estefan, Gloria Steinem, Pat Summitt (well-known Univ. of Tennessee women's basketball coach) & Joan Cooney, TV producer, who helped create "Sesame Street."

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