Abraham Lincoln, wearing his signature beard and dressed in a suit, is seated for a formal portrait. He looks off to his left. He is photographed from the legs up.
Photo courtesy of the Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site.

The Lincoln Medal

The Lincoln Medal is an award given by Ford’s Theatre Society.

The Medal is awarded to a person (or persons) who, through his or her body of work, accomplishments or personal attributes, exemplifies the lasting legacy and mettle of character embodied by the most beloved president in our nation’s history, President Abraham Lincoln.

Headshots of Rita Moreno and Marlene A. Malek.
Photo of Rita Moreno by Austin Hargraves. Photo of Marlene A. Malek courtesy of Friends of Cancer Research.

This Year’s Recipients

May 11, 2023 – As part of the Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala on June 11, 2023, Ford’s will recognize the 2023 Lincoln Medalists: trailblazing, EGOT-winning actress Rita Moreno and Ford’s Theatre trustee, health care advocate and patron of the arts Marlene A. Malek.

Celebrating 42 Years of the Lincoln Medal

The presentation of the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal is a highlight of the annual gala performance. Past recipients have included: Dr. Maya Angelou, Julie Andrews, Morgan Freeman, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Hon. John Lewis and Elie Wiesel.

Lincoln Medal Recipients

2023: Rita Moreno and Marlene A. Malek

2022: The Honorable James E. Clyburn and Clive J. Davis

2019: General Colin Powell, Alma J. Powell and Mark Russell

2018: Sheila C. Johnson and Jack Nicklaus

2017: Peyton W. Manning and Ronald O. Perelman

2015: Diane Nash

2014: The Honorable John D. Dingell and James Earl Jones

2013: Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Bill Russell

2012: Morgan Freeman, Elie Wiesel, Wayne R. Reynolds and The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson

2011: Lee Kuan Yew, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julie Andrews

2010: Justice Albie Sachs, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Dr. John R. Sellers

2009: Aretha Franklin, George Lucas and Sir Sidney Poitier

2008: Dr. Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, The Honorable Benjamin Carson, Jr. and The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor

2007: The Honorable John Lewis and Dr. James M. McPherson

2006: Dr. David Herbert Donald, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Zoe Dell Lantis Nutter and Nicholas D. Chabraja

2005: Robert A. Iger and Carl Lindner

2004: Laura Bush

2003: Donald J. Carty

2002: The Honorable Walter J. Hickel and The Honorable Ronald H. Walker

2001: James Whitmore

1999: Tricia Lott

1998: The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton

1997: Robert G. Stanton

1995: Edward P. Faberman

1994: Mrs. Fritz Hollings and Mrs. Alan Simpson

1993: Lady Bird Johnson and Joseph Cates

1992: Barbara Bush

1991: The Honorable William F. McSweeny

1990: The Honorable Sidney Yates

1989: Frankie Hewitt and Tommy Berra

1988: The Honorable Stewart Udall

1987: Nancy Reagan

1986: Gerald Freed

1985: Joy Dirksen Baker

1984: Mrs. Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr.

1983: Clyde Wheeler

1982: The Honorable C. William Verity, Jr.

1981: The Honorable Milton Young

Lincoln Medalists Gallery