Obama Receives Award For Courage During His Presidency

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Former President Barack Obama was honored Sunday in Boston by the John F. Kennedy Foundation. Obama will receive the foundation's "Profile in Courage Award" for demonstrating political courage during his two presidential terms.

According to Reuters, the late president's daughter Caroline 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.

Caroline Kennedy was nominated by President Obama to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan, and she served from 2013 to 2017.

The foundation has cited Obama's achievements in "expanding health security for millions of Americans, restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, and leading a landmark international accord to combat climate change" among their reasons for bestowing the "Profile in Courage Award" on him. They also applauded Obama for putting "policy above politics."

In an interview on the Today show, Kennedy said she was "thrilled" the Foundation's bipartisan committee had selected Obama as this year's recipient: "There are many kinds of courage, and he demonstrated more than one of those."

Members of former President Kennedy's family created the "Profile in Courage Award" in 1989 as a means of recognizing "the quality of political courage that [Kennedy] admired most," the official website for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum states. Only public officials serving at federal, state, or local levels who have demonstrated qualities of politically courageous leadership found by the foundation to be in the spirit of Kennedy's 1957 Pulitzer prize-winning book Profiles in Courage are eligible to receive the award.

"It's been more than half a century since John F. Kennedy asked us to cast aside our narrow self-interest and take up the chase of a greater ambition: our collective capacity to do big things, especially when it's hard," former President Obama said in a statement Thursday. "It was a call to citizenship as true as the words of our founding and a conviction that helped guide me to public service as a younger man — a belief in the possibilities of our democracy and the power of what we, the people, can do together... I am deeply humbled to receive the Profile in Courage Award."

Obama is not the only president to have been honored with the award. Former Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush have also received the John F. Kennedy Foundation's "Profile in Courage Award."