PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The National Constitution Center has announced the winner of the 2012 Liberty Medal.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has received the honor from the NCC, which is billing the Liberty Medal ceremony as the centerpiece of its 225th anniversary celebration of the U.S. Constitution.
(See photos of Muhammad Ali here.)
“It is very fitting that Muhammad Ali, a representative for the bicentennial of the Constitution, be awarded the prestigious Liberty Medal in 2012, as the nation celebrates the 225th anniversary of our founding document,” said President Bill Clinton, Chair of the National Constitution Center. “Ali embodies the spirit of the Liberty Medal by embracing the ideals of the Constitution – freedom, self-governance, equality, and empowerment – and helping to spread them across the globe.”
Ali, an Olympic gold medalist and boxer has been a fighter for both religious and civil rights. During the Vietnam War, he was a conscientious objector who famously took his case to the Supreme Court and won. Ali is also a humanitarian and philanthropist, as well as an advocate for sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease, which he has battled since 1982.
“Muhammad Ali is an outstanding nominee to receive the 2012 Liberty Medal,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “For more than half a century, Ali has been committed to fighting for peace, justice, and civil rights for all in the spirit of this award. The City of Philadelphia, the birthplace of American liberty, is proud to host this prestigious ceremony honoring Muhammad Ali.”
The Liberty Medal Ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the National Constitution Center. Past winners include Steven Spielberg, Kofi Annan, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Colin Powell.