Denzel Washington is among 17 recipients of the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom, Joe Biden announced on Friday, July 1st.
Marking the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal recognizes individuals who have “made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.”
During his four-decade career, Washington has received Academy Awards for his performances in Glory and Training Day while winning three Golden Globes, one Tony (for his revival of Fences), and the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.
Washington has also won a whopping 17 NAACP Image Awards since first being nominated in 1987. In a press release, the White House cited his 25 years of serving as National Spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
While Washington is the only entertainer to receive the distinction this year, other recipients include late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and a pair of gold-winning Olympians: gymnast Simone Biles and soccer player Megan Rapinoe. Late Senator John McCain, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and activist Fred Gray are among the other honorees.
The awards ceremony will take place at the White House on July 7th. See the full list and learn more about each of the recipients here.