Toni Morrison to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Morrison is the only African-American among this year's multicultural group of recipients. 

Posted: 04/30/2012 10:34 AM EDT

The White House announced novelist and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison will be among 12 other accomplished individuals slated to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year.

The Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Obama, honors 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,” the White House says.

Morrison was the first African-American woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1993 and is also the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved, which was later adapted to film.

The remaining honorees include luminaries such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

“These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation,” President Obama said of the honorees. “They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award.”

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