President Obama named fifteen recipients of the 2010 Medal of Freedom — the Nation’s highest civilian honor — including legendary Boston Celtics player Bill Russell.
Announcing The 2010 Medal of Freedom Recipients
Today, President Obama named fifteen recipients of the 2010 Medal of Freedom — the Nation’s highest civilian honor — 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.
“These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds and they’ve excelled in a broad range of fields, but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place,” said President Obama. “I look forward to awarding them this honor next year.”
Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball. Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times. The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality.