Lincoln Medalist James Earl Jones with Debbie Allen at the Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala on June 22, 2014. Photo by James R. Brantley.
Lincoln Medalist James Earl Jones with Debbie Allen at the Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala on June 22, 2014. Photo by James R. Brantley.

Lincoln Medalists: James Earl Jones and Representative John D. Dingell Honored

2 min read

On June 22, 2014, Ford’s Theatre honored James Earl Jones and Rep. John D. Dingell with the Lincoln Medal at the Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala. The Lincoln Medal is an annual award given by the Ford’s Theatre Society to a person (or persons) who, through their body of work, accomplishments or personal attributes, exemplify the lasting legacy, and mettle of character embodied by the most beloved President in our Nation’s history, President Abraham Lincoln. In their acceptance speeches, Rep. John Dingell and James Earl Jones reflect on the importance of Lincoln and the arts. Watch the footage below.

The Honorable John D. Dingell John D. Dingell is the current Dean of the House of Representatives and the U.S. House’s longest-serving member. His first fights were for civil rights, clean water, Medicare and American workers’ rights, and he continues to fight for protecting American jobs, improving the safety of our food and drug supply, strengthening consumer product safety, implementing pipeline safety measures and scores more. An avid conservationist and outdoorsman, Dingell wrote the Endangered Species Act, the 1990 Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and legislation to build North America’s first international wildlife refuge. As a lifetime advocate for protecting public health, he authored the Affordable Care Act, the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Mammography Quality Standards Act, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, and others. Dingell continues to be a champion of working across the Congressional aisle. Dingell proudly represents Michigan’s Twelfth Congressional District, which includes parts of Wayne and Washtenaw Counties.

James Earl Jones James Earl Jones’s iconic voice is recognizable by everyone from Star Wars fans to children fond of Disney’s The Lion King. Broadway producer Joseph Papp first cast Jones in Shakespeare’s Henry V, igniting a 50-year stage career. Jones has since earned two Tony Awards, three Emmys, two Obies, five Drama Desk Awards and a Grammy. He is long-affiliated with the New York Shakespeare Festival and has garnered acclaim for a multitude of performances including August Wilson’s Fences, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, On Golden Pond and Driving Miss Daisy—with both Vanessa Redgrave Broadway, West End) and Angela Lansbury (Australian tour). Jones’s film work includes Dr. Strangelove, Field of Dreams and the Tom Clancy trilogy—The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. For his outstanding achievements Jones has been recognized with the National Medal of Arts, John F. Kennedy Center Honor and an Honorary Oscar. He continues to perform and will star in You Can’t Take It With You on Broadway this fall.

Learn more about past Lincoln Medalists here:

Impact Tribute

Latest Posts From Ford’s Theatre