Fan-in-chief Barack Obama invested legendary singer songwriter Bob Dylan Tuesday with America’s highest civilian honor, praising the gritty folk legend’s never ending quest for truth.
Dylan joined other honorees including former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth and novelist Toni Morrison to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dylan, hiding behind trademark dark glasses, gave no noticeable sign of appreciation or emotion as he was summoned to receive the medal from Obama.
The revered singer-song writer was last at the White House in February 2010, when he performed protest anthem “The Times, They are a Changin'” nearly 50 years after belting out songs of revolution on Washington’s National Mall.
Obama also had warm words for Albright, the first woman to serve as US secretary of state, during former president Bill Clinton’s second term.
Obama lauded another female pioneer Toni Morrison, author of novels “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved” for prose of a “kind of moral and emotional intensity that few writers ever attempt.”
Obama also posthumously recognized former Polish underground resistance officer Jan Karski for his role in exposing the Holocaust after he provided some of the first eyewitness accounts from the Warsaw ghetto and a Nazi transit camp.
Karski, later a professor of history at Georgetown University in Washington, died aged 86 in 2000.
Also honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday were civil rights lawyer John Doar, epidemiologist William Foege, labor organizer Dolores Huerta, retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens, and woman’s basketball coach Pat Summitt.
Gordon Hirabayashi, who defied the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low, also received medals posthumously.
Israel President Shimon Peres will be invested with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a separate ceremony.