This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

President Obama honored 13 men and women on Tuesday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest honor. Among those honored were the following Americans who made significant contributions to the lives of women, people of color and ethnic minorities.

Toni Morrison, , Pulitzer Prize winning author who was the first African-American woman to win a Nobel Prize, was given the Presidential Medal of Honor on May 29, 2012. (National Journal)
former assistant attorney general who was involved in many notable civil rights cases in Mississippi in the 1960s was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 29, 2012 (National Journal)
, who died in January, was a student in the 1940s when he opposed the internment orders for Japanese Americans during World War II, was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 29, 2012 (National Journal)
, a community organizer who advocated for civil rights, labor and women's issues and co-founded what became the United Farm Workers of America, was given the Presidential Medal of Honor on May 29, 2012. (National Journal)
Pat Summit, , former University of Tennessee women's basketball coach and the all-time winningest leader among NCAA basketball coaches, was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 29, 2012. (National Journal)
National Journal

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.