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OTRC: Bob Dylan named as one of the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients

Bob Dylan appears at the 2010 Azkena Rock Festival in Spain in June 2010. (flickr.com/photos/denaflows)

Music legend Bob Dylan was named among the thirteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced on April 26.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor in the nation and is presented to individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," according to a statement by the White House.

The awards will be presented at the White House in late spring. "These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "They've challenged us, they've inspired us, and they've made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award."

Other individuals set to receive the honor this year include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, John Doar -- a former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, William Foege -- a physician and epidemiologist who helped lead the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s, former Senator and astronaut John Glenn, Gordon Hirabayashi -- who defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta.

Jan Karski -- a Polish Underground officer in World War II, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, writer Toni Morrison, Israeli president Shimon Peres, former Supreme Coiurt Justice John Paul Stevens and former University of Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt, will also receive the honor.

Bob Dylan is known as one of the most influential songwriters in music history. Dylan had a major influence in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and released his deubt album in 1962. He is known for songs like "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are a-Changin'" and "Like a Rolling Stone."

Dylan has won 11 Grammys, was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2009 and received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation in 2008.

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