Gloria Steinem To Be Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

7652011044_6cc07d1046_nPresident Barack Obama announced on Thursday that writer and feminist activist Gloria Steinem, cofounder of Ms. magazine, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, later this year. She joins nearly 600 distinguished people who have won the award since it was established in 1963. According to the White House, Steinem was awarded the medal for her women’s rights activism. When he announced this year’s winners, Obama said:

The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.

Four other of this year’s honorees are women: astronaut/science educator Sally Ride, multi-media entrepreneur and talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, country singer/songwriter Loretta Lynn, glass-ceiling-breaking judge Patricia Wald.

Picture from Flickr user Vassar College Media Relations under license from Creative Commons 2.0


  1. Beautiful

  2. Hazel Rice says:

    Congratulations to all of you!!! You are truly remarkable women who definitely deserve this award! Thanks for all you’ve done on behalf of and for women’s progress in this world.

  3. Well deserved!

  4. Gloria Steinem got the Woman of Courage Award from the SPLC a decade ago.

  5. Congratulations! Gloria is the perfect candidate for this award.

  6. Eileen Coussens says:

    That is wonderful! I just wrote a research paper on Gloria Steinem and thoroughly enjoyed my research on Ms. Steinem. She deserves to be honored for her work in women’s movement!

  7. So incredibly deserved…..a woman who put the battle for equality over her own comfort. Whether you know it or not….be a man or a woman….Gloria Steinem has enhanced your life and those you love in a very powerful and meaningful way.

    Unless you are a misogynist or radical archaic religious individual you are indeed a feminist which simply means that you advocate or support equal political, economic, and social rights for women.

    Gloria I salute you.

  8. Well, it’s about flippin’ time! This is nothing more than a public relations campaign on Obama’s part. He has appointed fewer women to his administration’s top posts than even Ronald Reagan. Obama doesn’t have much of a record on women’s rights except for supporting reproductive freedom. His economic policies have not helped working class women, nor has he appointed hardly and women to top positions in his administration. There are some token women in mid-level positions in his administration – but he’s a wash-out on women’s issues. Bill Clinton appointed more women to his administration than any president in history. He had a better women’s issue record.

    That being said, I am very glad Gloria Steinem is receiving this award. She’s a wonderful person and absolutely deserves to be honored. I was a little girl when she first became prominent and I hold her in very high regard – right next to Susan B. Anthony, Abigail Adams, Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisolm and former Texas Governor, Ann Richards.

  9. Hip Hip Hooray! I am tickled & proud that The Shalom cCenter, months before this magnificently deserved Medal of Freedom, arranged to honor Gloria Steinem at a “This is What 80 Looks Like” celebration on Nov 3 in Philadelphia. Gloria and I reconnected again just months ago after originally meeting in 1968 at the famous/ infamous Democratic Natl Convention in Chicago. For the story of how we reconnected and for information on the Nov 3 celebration — come sing & dance and learn with us! –click to and
    (including a video of Oprah interviewing Gloria). With blessings of joy and liberation, shalom & salaam — Rabbi Arthur Waskow

  10. What a great, wonderful woman! She came to be with our faculty and students at the Missouri School of Journalism and displayed her warmth and intelligence. Congratulations! So deserving!

  11. Jean Mulford says:

    When Gloria Steinem spoke at WSU several years ago, I stood in a line of autograph-seekers. When I reached her, I said, “I don’t need an autograph; I just want to be able to tell myself that I met you.” She immediately said, “And I can tell myself that I met you!” I love this memory!

  12. Bravo, Gloria!!! THANK YOU. We still have so far to go.

  13. Martha Knoll says:

    Just want to thank and congratulate the winners!

  14. dylan king says:

    Bravo, Gloria!! Well deserved! 😀

  15. Thanks and congratulations to the winners! Also, thanks to the president for recognizing these women!!

  16. Congratulations to Gloria! And thanks for all that she and others have done to create more opportunities for women, young and old.

  17. Sara Garcia says:

    I love that President Obama is awarding these women with the highest recognition he can! All of these women were pioneers and are (and always will be) amazing role models for women around the world. I look up to all these women for their strength, intelligence, hard work, and perseverance. I only hope one day our children (especially our daughters) will be reading about them in history textbooks and the undeniable contributions they made to gender equality. Thank you so much!

  18. Ammini Moorthy says:

    Congratulations to the winners

    Thanks to president Obama for recognizing their contributions

  19. Thank you Mr. President

  20. Mary Wendy Roberts says:

    Gloria Steinem has been an inspiration and pathbreaker for over 40 years. She is not only accomplished and involved nationally and in communities of women activists and with a variety of equal rights issues, she has been personally supportive to so many of us in our political work for women and families. I have always found her to be surprisingly accessible, generous and down-to-earth. When interviewed, she is unfailingly calm, gently humorous, nonegotistical, and straight-forward. She is truly an admirable human being and deserves all the accolades she gets.

  21. Dear Gloria, had you in mind when I wrote my latest book. God bless you, keep you and may you always be held up as a standard for women! Ellen Everman

  22. Jane Martin says:

    Ms. Steinem: You were my heroine growing up. I read your books and was enthralled with what you did and stood for. Without you I may not be the woman I am today. You and my feminist mother shaped and formed me, and I am one strong kick-ass woman today. You are my heroine. I love you.

  23. Edna Ranck says:

    How wonderful! In the 1990s I supported the now-defunct Child Care Action Campaign at its annual Silent Auction by “winning” an evening with Gloria Steinem. She was gracious and I was honored. I met her a few other times and was always impressed with her spirit, humor, and intelligence. We are close in age and because of her, I always remember that age in on a calendar, not in the heart and mind. Thanks, indeed, to President Obama for presenting this award to Ms. Steinem and to 3 other super women.

  24. Jennifer Bew Orr says:

    Gloria Steinem, as a fellow Smith alum recently said to me, is the creme de la creme of feminist outreach. Always she seeks the truth, feeling and thinking out the practical grounding for our abilities to work and play fairly. She never ceases to be inspirational, one sentence at a time.

  25. carole kraemer says:

    Congratulations Gloria Steinhem. You are unflagging in your efforts on behalf of women. You have brought the gift of consciousness to us. There are many women in U.S. history who have struggled for women’s rights, but you have done so with panache. You are a clear, forceful and honest writer and you are photogenic; you have parlayed those gifts to good advantage on behalf of all of us. Thank you.

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