Andy Griffith Honored With Presidential Medal of Freedom

Long-time entertainer Andy Griffith was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom last Wednesday during a ceremony at the White House.

Griffith, best known for his work on popular television programs such as “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock,” was among the group of 14 honorees that included notable figures such as boxing champion Muhammad Ali, golfer Jack Nicklaus, and singer Aretha Franklin.

“TV shows come and go, but there’s only one Andy Griffith,” said President Bush during the ceremony. “And we thank him for being such a friendly and beloved presence in our American life.”

Aside from his work in television in film, Griffith has also released several Christian albums, with his latest work being Bound for the Promised Land: The Best of Andy Griffith Hymns, which released on EMI this January.

Established by Executive Order 11085 in 1963, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the Nation’s highest civil award, may be awarded by the President, “to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”