Unexpected Celebrities Who Earned A Presidential Medal Of Freedom

One of the highest honors given by the President of the United States is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This award recognizes those in a wide array of fields who made a significant contribution to the country through security, national interests, world peace, cultural endeavors, and more.

President John F. Kennedy started the tradition after he noticed President Harry S. Truman commemorate civilians during World War II. There have been many unexpected recipients of the award including famous actors, singers, and athletes. Learn about how these celebrities made a difference in the United States.

Billie Jean King Is More Than A Tennis Pro

billie jean king presidential medal of freedom
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Billie Jean King is one of the most talented tennis players in the world. She is best remembered for the “Battle of the Sexes” tournament where she defeated Bobby Riggs. Also, her activism work for women’s rights was crucial during the 1970s.

In 2009 President Barack Obama awarded King with the Presidential Medal of Freedom due to her impressive tennis abilities and her fight for gender equality. Not only did King work toward providing equal gender representation in sports, but in all aspects of life.