WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today congratulated former Ohio senator John Glenn and Pulitzer-Prize winning writer Toni Morrison, two Ohioans who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom today. Glenn and Morrison were presented with the medal during a ceremony at the White House.
“Now 90 years old—and having served as a Marine aviator, an astronaut, a United States Senator, and a noted educator—John Glenn has received quite a few recognitions and awards. But whether he was flying a fighter jet or floating in space, he has always remained grounded in his New Concord roots,” Brown said. “Those of us fortunate to know him well know that there is so much to his life: his devotion for his wife Annie; his fierce advocacy of science, technology, and NASA; and finally, his deep patriotism and love for his country. He is a worthy recipient for the Presidential Medal of Freedom and it is a privilege to congratulate him on this tremendous honor.”
In June 2011, Brown spoke to President Obama and personally handed him a letter nominating Glenn for the award. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962. Born in Cambridge, Ohio and raised in New Concord, Ohio, Glenn is a veteran of World War II and served as Ohio’s senator for 24 years. The text of Brown’s recommendation can be found here.
“Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, is an American literary legend – and a Lorain High graduate. She’s the daughter of two hardworking laborers—and a proud daughter of our state,” Brown said. “Her words and wisdom teach us the difference between ‘looking good and doing good’; between a life focused on getting and spending and living with meaning. And that’s why—whether in her work as an educator, editor, or writer – Toni Morrison has earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
Morrison, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. Morrison is the author of the Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved among other notable works – including the libretto for the opera “Margaret Garner,” which premiered in Cincinnati.