Marlo Thomas is one of the 19 recipients receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the White House. The medal is the highest civilian honor given 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.”
Thomas, a native of Detroit, Michigan, rose to prominence as an actress. She is best known for her work in the television series That Girl which aired from 1966 to 1971. She now serves as the national outreach director for St. Jude’s Children Hospital, a facility founded by her father in 1962. The hospital focuses on pediatric cancer and other diseases plaguing children.
— State of the Arts NJ (@SOTA_NJ) December 10, 2013
In a statement released by the White House, they said, “Whether championing equality for girls and women, giving voice to the less fortunate, breaking barriers by portraying one of television’s first single working women on ‘That Girl,’ or teaching children to be ‘Free to Be You and Me,’ Thomas inspires us all to dream bigger and reach higher.”
Other recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom include author Isabel Allende, journalist Tom Brokaw, economist Robert Solow, composer Stephen Sondheim, actress Meryl Streep, and musician Stevie Wonder, among others.
U.S. Representative John Dingell will also be receiving the award. Dingell represents Michigan’s 12th Congressional District and is the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history. He will be retiring soon, after serving since 1955.
According to President Obama, “From activists who fought for change to artists who explored the furthest reaches of our imagination; from scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world.”
The ceremony will be held at the White House on November 24th.