Sep 9

Issue: Culture RSS

Liberty Medal and Nobel Peace Prize closely linked

Posted 3 years, 7 months ago.


As the National Constitution Center prepares to award Tony Blair with the 2010 Liberty Medal on Monday, we’ve noticed that much of the European press referred to the medal as the “American Nobel Peace Prize.”

The two prizes are undoubtedly linked, as six former Liberty Medal winners have eventually gone on to win Nobel Peace Prizes, and nine people have both prizes on their mantel. Below we look at the lucky few who have both prizes while providing a brief overview of the recipient’s accomplishments.

And be sure to follow our behind-the-scenes liveblog of the Liberty Medal ceremony on our Liberty Medal homepage on Monday, starting at 6:55 p.m.

Jimmy Carter

Liberty Medal: 1990
Nobel Peace Prize: 2002

The 39th President of the U.S., Carter has dedicated his post-presidency life to solving international conflicts, especially in the Middle East.

Shimon Peres

Liberty Medal: 1996
Nobel Peace Prize: 1984

Shimon Peres, former Foreign Minister of Israel and current president of Israel, won the Nobel Peace Prize along with former president of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat and former prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin for his work to establish peace in the Middle East.

Lech Walesa

Liberty Medal: 1989
Nobel Peace Prize: 1983

Walesa, a trade union and human rights activist, eventually became that country’s president despite receiving no formal education.

Médecins Sans Frontières
(Doctors without borders)

Liberty Medal: 1991
Nobel Peace Prize: 1999

Doctors without borders is a nonprofit dedicated to providing emergency medical assistance to those affected by war, poverty and disaster.

Oscar Arias Sánchez

Liberty Medal: 1991
Nobel Peace Prize: 1987

Sanchez was recognized for his efforts to stop rampant civil war in Central America.

Nelson Mandela & Frederik Willem de Klerk

Liberty Medal: 1993
Nobel Peace Prize: 1993

Mandela and Klerk were both recognized for their efforts to end Apartheid in South Africa.

Kim Dae-jung

Liberty Medal: 1999
Nobel Peace Prize: 2000

Once jailed for his opposition to authoritarian rule in his native South Korea, Dae-jung eventually became that country’s president.

United Nations & Kofi Annan

Liberty Medal: 2001
Nobel Peace Prize: 2001

Annan, a Ghanian, was awarded the prize when he was Secretary General of the U.N.

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev

Liberty Medal: 2008
Nobel Peace Prize: 1990

Gorbachev, along with President Reagan was instrumental in ending the Cold War.



  1. That’s interesting, I never knew about the connection. I wish we saw more women on this list tho