OUR HISTORY
Golden Plate Awardees
The Golden Plate Award has been presented since 1961 by the American Academy of Achievement to approximately 25 guests of honor at the International Achievement Summit. Chosen by the Academy’s Awards Council and other distinguished authorities, these men and women of exceptional accomplishment in the sciences, the professions, business, industry, arts, literature, sports, entertainment, and public service are acclaimed … not as winners, but as visionaries and achievers who represent the many who excel.
FEATURED HONOREES
Public Service
1960s
Learned HandJurist and Judicial Philosopher
Frank H. Knight, Ph.D.Economist and Social Philosopher
General Douglas MacArthur, USAGeneral of the Army
Alan T. Waterman, Ph.D.Science and Public Service
Louis NizerTrial Lawyer and Author
Father William B. WassonSavior of Orphaned Children
General Holland M. Smith, USMCFather of Modern Amphibious Warfare
General Benjamin D. Foulois, USAFFather of U.S. Military Aviation
Rev. Billy GrahamMissionary and Evangelist
Helen KellerAuthor and Political Activist
William L. Langer, Ph.D.Historian and Intelligence Expert
Harold RussellOscar for Best Years of Our Lives
Vice Adm. William F. Raborn, Jr., USNFather of the Polaris
Captain Roger H. Donlon, USAMedal of Honor
General B. A. Schriever, USAFFather of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program
Percy ForemanCriminal Defense Attorney
Bernard (Barney) KilgoreThe Wall Street Journal
Paul Freund, S.J.D.Constitutional Law
Thomas G. CorcoranArchitect of New Deal Era
Daniel K. InouyeWar Hero and Statesman
Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, USAFAviation Hall of Fame
Eugene PattersonJournalist and Civil Rights Activist
Lawrence E. SpivakCo-founder and Host of Meet the Press
1970s
Richard G. LugarPresidential Medal of Freedom
Erwin D. CanhamThe Christian Science Monitor
Turner CatledgeThe New York Times
Leo M. ChernePresidential Medal of Freedom
Gerald R. Ford38th President of the United States
Milton Friedman, Ph.D.Nobel Prize in Economics
Leon JaworskiLaw and Public Service
Lloyd N. Morrisett, Jr., Ph.D.Co-creator, Sesame Street
Howard H. BakerPresidential Medal of Freedom
Richard L. StroutPulitzer Prize for Lifetime Achievement
General George S. Brown, USAFChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Lee A. DuBridge, Ph.D.President Emeritus of Cal Tech
James C. Fletcher, Ph.D.Administrator of NASA
Tom C. ClarkJustice, Supreme Court of the United States
Chesterfield SmithLaw and Public Service
Caspar W. WeinbergerPresidential Medal of Freedom
General Alexander Haig, Jr., USASoldier and Statesman
Shirley M. HufstedlerLaw and Public Service
General Daniel (Chappie) James, Jr., USAFAviation Hall of Fame
Admiral James B. Stockdale, USNMedal of Honor
Lt. Thomas R. Norris, USNMedal of Honor
General Jimmy Doolittle, USAFAviation Pioneer and Recipient of the Medal of Honor
Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan MaguireNobel Prize for Peace
Spencer W. KimballReligious Leader
Robert MosesMaster Builder
General Dan ShomronIsraeli Hero of the Entebbe Rescue
John J. SiricaWatergate Trial Judge
General Louis H. Wilson, Jr., USMCCommandant, U.S. Marine Corps
General Omar N. Bradley, USAGeneral of the Army
Clark M. CliffordLawyer and Presidential Advisor
Frank M. Johnson, Jr.Presidential Medal of Freedom
Seán MacBrideNobel Prize for Peace
Admiral Stansfield Turner, USNDirector of Central Intelligence
William H. WebsterDirector of the FBI
Colonel Ulrich WegenerCommando Rescue of 86 Hostages
Richard (Racehorse) HaynesCriminal Defense Attorney
Russell M. Nelson, M.D.Religious Leader
General David C. Jones, USAFChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1980s
Benjamin R. CivilettiU.S. Attorney General
Eugene L. Roberts, Jr.The Philadelphia Inquirer
General Bernard W. Rogers, USASupreme Allied Commander Europe
Ambassador Kenneth D. TaylorCongressional Gold Medal
General Robert H. Barrow, USMCCommandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Hanna Holborn Gray, Ph.D.President, University of Chicago
Sam Ervin, Jr.Lawyer, Jurist, Legislator and Patriot
General John W. Vessey, Jr., USAChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Lew Allen, Jr., USAFTechnology and National Security
Mother Antonia BrennerThe Prison Angel
Ambassador Sol M. LinowitzPresidential Medal of Freedom
Claude D. PepperPresidential Medal of Freedom
Donald H. RumsfeldBusiness and Public Service
William French SmithU.S. Attorney General
Andrew J. YoungCivil Rights Ambassador
Ernest L. Boyer, Ph.D.Education
Jimmy CarterNobel Prize for Peace
Ambassador Max M. KampelmanPresidential Medal of Freedom
General P. X. Kelley, USMCCommandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Ambassador Walter H. AnnenbergPublisher, Philanthropist and Diplomat
Betty FordCongressional Gold Medal
General Andrew J. Goodpaster, USAPresidential Medal of Freedom
Daniel J. Boorstin, J.S.D.The Librarian of Congress
Admiral William J. Crowe, USNChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Paul H. NitzePresidential Medal of Freedom
Lt. General Vernon A. Walters, USAAmbassador to the United Nations
John C. WhiteheadFinancier and Statesman
Barry M. GoldwaterPresidential Medal of Freedom
Sandra Day O’ConnorFirst Woman Justice, United States Supreme Court
Henry Rosovsky, Ph.D.Education and Economics
Robert McC. Adams, Ph.D.Secretary of the Smithsonian
Benjamin C. BradleeThe Washington Post
General Colin L. Powell, USAFormer Secretary of State, United States of America
Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, USAFPresidential Medal of Freedom
William S. SessionsDirector of the FBI
Anne L. ArmstrongPresidential Medal of Freedom
David P. Gardner, Ph.D.President, University of California
Vartan Gregorian, Ph.D.Presidential Medal of Freedom
1990s
Joseph Cardinal BernardinPresidential Medal of Freedom
Ralph NaderConsumer Crusader
Ronald W. Reagan40th President of the United States
Alan M. DershowitzDefender of Civil Liberties
Jack KempSports and Public Service
Javier Pérez De CuéllarSecretary-General of the United Nations
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, USACommander, Operation Desert Storm
James H. Billington, Ph.D.The Librarian of Congress
Robert M. GatesDirector of Central Intelligence
Walter E. Massey, Ph.D.President, Morehouse College
Marian Wright EdelmanChildren's Defense Fund
Zachary FisherPresidential Medal of Freedom
Vincent J. Scully, Ph.D.Architectural Historian and Teacher
James and Sarah BradyHandgun Control Advocates
Judith Rodin, Ph.D.President, University of Pennsylvania
General John M. Shalikashvili, USAChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
George H. W. Bush41st President of the United States
Ruth Bader GinsburgJustice, Supreme Court of the United States
Lady Bird JohnsonCongressional Gold Medal
Peggy NoonanPulitzer Prize for Commentary
Johnnetta B. Cole, Ph.D.President, Spelman College
Rosa ParksCongressional Gold Medal
Willie L. Brown, Jr.Mayor of San Francisco
Gilbert M. GrosvenorChairman of National Geographic Society
Elie WieselNobel Prize for Peace
Stephen J. BreyerJustice, Supreme Court of the United States
Barbara Pierce BushAdvocate of Family Literacy
Gerhard Casper, Ph.D.President, Stanford University
Coretta Scott KingPioneer of Civil Rights
Gordon B. HinckleyPresidential Medal of Freedom
General Charles C. Krulak, USMCCommandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Gerry L. SpenceTrial Lawyer and Author
James A. Baker IIIFormer Secretary of State, United States of America
Richard B. Cheney46th Vice President of the United States
General Wesley K. Clark, USASupreme Allied Commander Europe
Linda and Millard FullerFounders, Habitat for Humanity
Agnes GundAdvocate for Arts Education
Nannerl O. Keohane, Ph.D.President, Duke University
General Henry (Hugh) Shelton, USAChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Alan K. SimpsonUnited States Senate
George J. TenetDirector of Central Intelligence
Ambassador Richard C. HolbrookeDiplomacy
H.E. Valdas AdamkusPresident of the Republic of Lithuania
H.E. Árpád GönczPresident of Hungary
William P. Magee, Jr., M.D. and Kathleen MageeFounders, Operation Smile
General Joseph W. Ralston, USAFSupreme Allied Commander Europe
2000s
Bertie AhernTaoiseach of Ireland
Benazir BhuttoFormer Prime Minister of Pakistan
Mikhail S. GorbachevNobel Prize for Peace
General James L. Jones, USMCSupreme Allied Commander Europe
Baron Robertson of Port EllenSecretary General of NATO
Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D.President, Brown University
Brendan V. Sullivan, Jr.Defense Attorney Extraordinaire
H.E. Vaira Vīķe-FreibergaPresident of the Republic of Latvia
Lech WalesaNobel Prize for Peace
Ehud BarakFormer Prime Minister of Israel
Gary Becker, Ph.D.Nobel Prize in Economics
J. Carter BrownDirector Emeritus, National Gallery of Art
Bill Frist, M.D.United States Senate
John L. Hennessy, Ph.D.President, Stanford University
General Richard B. Myers, USAFChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Lt. Michael E. Thornton, USNMedal of Honor
Bandar bin Sultan Al SaudAmbassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S.
William J. Clinton42nd President of the United States
Richard M. DaleyMayor of Chicago
John HumeNobel Prize for Peace
H.E. Hamid KarzaiPresident of Afghanistan
Henry A. Kissinger, Ph.D.Former Secretary of State, United States of America
H.E. Lennart MeriPresident of the Republic of Estonia
George J. MitchellPresidential Medal of Freedom
José Ramos-HortaNobel Prize for Peace
Lord David TrimbleNobel Prize for Peace
Hillary ClintonFormer Secretary of State, United States of America
Tom DaschleUnited States Senate
Rudolph GiulianiFormer Mayor of New York City
Donald E. GrahamPublisher, The Washington Post
John McCainUnited States Senate
Antonin ScaliaJustice, Supreme Court of the United States
Robert S. StraussPresidential Medal of Freedom
Shimon PeresNobel Prize for Peace
Archbishop Desmond TutuNobel Prize for Peace
H.M. King AbdullahKing of Jordan
Maureen DowdPulitzer Prize for Commentary
H.E. Recep Tayyip ErdoğanPresident of the Republic of Turkey
Congressman John R. LewisChampion of Civil Rights
H.E. Yoweri MuseveniPresident of the Republic of Uganda
H.M. Queen Rania Al-AbdullahAdvocate for Women's Rights
Shirin EbadiNobel Prize for Peace
Michael J. FoxActor and Activist
Alberto R. GonzalesU.S. Attorney General
Susan J. Hockfield, Ph.D.President, MIT
Anthony M. KennedyRetired Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
Bernard Kouchner, M.D.Founder, Doctors Without Borders
Norman Y. MinetaPresidential Medal of Freedom
H.E. Festus G. MogaePresident of the Republic of Botswana
John E. Sexton, Ph.D.President, New York University
Lawrence H. Summers, Ph.D.President, Harvard University
William T. Coleman, Jr.Presidential Medal of Freedom
Mohamed ElBaradeiNobel Prize for Peace
John D. NegroponteDirector of National Intelligence
Wendy KoppFounder and President of Teach for America
Nancy PelosiSpeaker, U.S. House of Representatives
Antonio VillaraigosaMayor of Los Angeles
Laura BushFirst Lady of the United States
General Michael V. Hayden, USAFDirector of the Central Intelligence Agency
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.Science and Education
Barack Obama44th President of the United States
General Peter Pace, USMCChairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Barry ScheckCo-Founder, The Innocence Project
Ellen Johnson SirleafNobel Prize for Peace
Paul Farmer, M.D.Founder, Partners In Health
Navanethem PillayUnited Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Matamela Cyril RamaphosaPresident of South Africa
Anthony D. RomeroExecutive Director, ACLU
Albie SachsConstitutional Court of South Africa
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Ph.D.Nobel Prize in Economics
2010s
Eric H. Holder, Jr.U.S. Attorney General
Salman KhanFounder, Khan Academy
Leon PanettaPolitical Leadership
General David H. Petraeus, USASoldier and Scholar
Sonia SotomayorJustice, Supreme Court of the United States
David BoiesCounselor and Human Rights Advocate
General Philip M. Breedlove, USAFSupreme Allied Commander Europe
Edmund G. Brown, Jr.Governor of California
Joi ItoDirector of the MIT Media Lab
Admiral William H. McRaven, USNSpecial Operations Command
Theodore B. OlsonConstitutional Advocate
Aung San Suu KyiNobel Prize for Peace
Neil M. GorsuchJustice, Supreme Court of the United States
Paul KagamePresident of Rwanda
Ernest Cardinal SimoniAlbania's Heroic Servant of God
Elaine L. ChaoU.S. Secretary of Transportation
Leymah GboweeNobel Prize for Peace
Carla Hayden, Ph.D.Librarian of Congress
Brett M. KavanaughJustice, Supreme Court of the United States
Nadia MuradNobel Prize for Peace
Bryan StevensonFounder of Equal Justice Initiative
VIEW ALL HONOREES
Hank Aaron
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Lynsey Addario
Edward Albee
Tenley Albright, M.D.
Svetlana Alexievich
Dame Julie Andrews
Maya Angelou
Frances H. Arnold, Ph.D.
Robert D. Ballard, Ph.D.
Sir Roger Bannister
John Banville
Ehud Barak
Lee R. Berger, Ph.D.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Yogi Berra
Jeffrey P. Bezos
Benazir Bhutto
Simone Biles
Keith L. Black, M.D.
Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D.
David Boies
Norman E. Borlaug, Ph.D.
Benjamin C. Bradlee
Sergey Brin
J. Carter Brown
Linda B. Buck, Ph.D.
Carol Burnett
George H. W. Bush
Susan Butcher
Sir Michael Caine
James Cameron
Benjamin S. Carson, M.D.
Jimmy Carter
Johnny Cash
William J. Clinton
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Denton A. Cooley, M.D.
Francis Ford Coppola
Ray Dalio
Dame Olivia de Havilland
Michael E. DeBakey, M.D.
Michael S. Dell
Ron Dennis
Joan Didion
David Herbert Donald, Ph.D.
David Doubilet
Jennifer A. Doudna, Ph.D.
Rita Dove
Sylvia Earle, Ph.D.
Mohamed ElBaradei
Gertrude B. Elion, M.Sc.
Larry J. Ellison
Nora Ephron
Julius Erving
Tony Fadell
Paul Farmer, M.D.
Suzanne Farrell
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Sally Field
Lord Norman Foster
Aretha Franklin
Milton Friedman, Ph.D.
Carlos Fuentes
Athol Fugard
Peter Gabriel
Ernest J. Gaines
William H. Gates III
Leymah Gbowee
Frank O. Gehry
Murray Gell-Mann, Ph.D.
Vince Gill
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Louise Glück
Whoopi Goldberg
Dame Jane Goodall
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ph.D.
Mikhail S. Gorbachev
Nadine Gordimer
Stephen Jay Gould, Ph.D.
Carol W. Greider, Ph.D.
John Grisham
Sir John Gurdon
Dorothy Hamill
Demis Hassabis, Ph.D.
Lauryn Hill
Sir Edmund Hillary
Reid Hoffman
Khaled Hosseini, M.D.
Ron Howard
John Hume
Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.
Daniel K. Inouye
Jeremy Irons
John Irving
Sir Kazuo Ishiguro
Sir Peter Jackson
Donald C. Johanson, Ph.D.
Frank M. Johnson, Jr.
Philip C. Johnson
Chuck Jones
James Earl Jones
Quincy Jones
Beverly Joubert
Dereck Joubert
Paul Kagame
Thomas Keller
Anthony M. Kennedy
Carole King
B.B. King
Coretta Scott King
Henry A. Kissinger, Ph.D.
Willem J. Kolff, M.D., Ph.D.
Wendy Kopp
Henry R. Kravis
Nicholas D. Kristof
Mike Krzyzewski
Ray Kurzweil
Eric S. Lander, Ph.D.
Robert S. Langer, Sc.D.
Richard E. Leakey
Leon Lederman, Ph.D.
Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D.
Congressman John R. Lewis
Maya Lin
George Lucas
Paul B. MacCready, Ph.D.
Norman Mailer
Peyton Manning
Wynton Marsalis
John C. Mather, Ph.D.
Johnny Mathis
Ernst Mayr, Ph.D.
Willie Mays
Frank McCourt
David McCullough
Audra McDonald
Admiral William H. McRaven, USN
W. S. Merwin
Reinhold Messner
James A. Michener
Marvin Minsky, Ph.D.
Mario J. Molina, Ph.D.
N. Scott Momaday, Ph.D.
Story Musgrave, M.D.
Ralph Nader
Peggy Noonan
Jessye Norman
Lt. Thomas R. Norris, USN
Lynn Nottage
Joyce Carol Oates
Pierre Omidyar
Jimmy Page
Larry Page
Arnold Palmer
Leon Panetta
Rosa Parks
Suzan-Lori Parks
Linus C. Pauling, Ph.D.
Shimon Peres
Itzhak Perlman
General David H. Petraeus, USA
Sidney Poitier
General Colin L. Powell, USA
Harold Prince
Venki Ramakrishnan, Ph.D.
Lord Martin Rees
Lloyd Richards
Sally K. Ride, Ph.D.
Cal Ripken Jr.
Sonny Rollins
Anthony D. Romero
James Rosenquist
Pete Rozelle
Bill Russell
Albie Sachs
Oliver Sacks, M.D.
Jonas Salk, M.D.
Frederick Sanger, Ph.D.
George B. Schaller, Ph.D.
Barry Scheck
Richard Evans Schultes, Ph.D.
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, USA
Stephen A. Schwarzman
Glenn T. Seaborg, Ph.D.
Neil Sheehan
Admiral Alan B. Shepard, Jr., USN
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Carlos Slim Helú
Frederick W. Smith
Stephen Sondheim
Sonia Sotomayor
Wole Soyinka
Esperanza Spalding
Martha Stewart
Admiral James B. Stockdale, USN
Hilary Swank
Amy Tan
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Edward Teller, Ph.D.
OUR HISTORY
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
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