Barack Obama Named 2017 Profile In Courage Award Winner By The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation


Former US President Barack Obama was on Thursday named the 2017 winner of the Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation for promoting his legacy.

The profile in courage award recognizes a public official(s) at the federal, state or local level whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership in the spirit of the Profiles in Courage, President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer prize-winning book, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good.

The award is presented annually at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on May 29, President Kennedy’s birthday.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation which administers the profile in courage award is made up of a distinguished bipartisan committee named by the Foundation and charged with reviewing all nominations and selects the recipient(s) of the award.

Obama is the third former U.S. president to win the award, joining Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. Last year, the award was presented to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut.

Malloy1Jack Schlossberg pose with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut government after receiving the award May 1, 2016, at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston

Other past winners include Senator John McCain, former Ukraine President Victor Yushchenko and former U.S. Representative Carl Elliott Sr.

Speaking on Thursday, Caroline, John F. Kennedy’s daughter said in a statement:

“President Kennedy called on a new generation of Americans to give their talents to the service of the country; with exceptional dignity and courage. President Obama has carried that torch into our own time, providing young people of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives.”

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Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will be presenting the award to President Obama. Caroline’s son, Schlossberg also said in a statement:

“Faced with unrelenting political opposition, President Obama has embodied the definition of courage that my grandfather cites in the opening lines of ‘Profiles in Courage’: Grace under pressure, throughout his two terms in office, he represented all Americans with decency, integrity, and an unshakeable commitment to the greater good.”

The JFK Library foundation said President Obama was being recognized for “his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century.”

They also acknowledge some projects done by President Obama which includes expansion of health care options for millions, restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba and leadership on an international climate change agreement.

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In acceptance of the award, Obama tweeted that he was “humbled” by the recognition.

The Obama Foundation also tweeted after the announcement with the hashtag #ProfileInCourage.

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President Obama has been known for his outstanding and excellent spirit which he has exercised during his service as the US President for the past eight years. He has received numerous awards including:

  • Noble Peace Price  (2009)
  • Times Person of the Year award (2008, 2012)
  • NME award for Hero of the Year (2013)
  • Grammy award winner for Best Spoken Word Album (2006, 2008)
  • NAACP Image award (2005)
  • NAACP Image award for Outstanding Literature (2007)

He also received the distinguished Public Service Medal in January 2017.