Outgoing US President Barack Obama on 12 January 2017 awarded Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, the highest civilian honour. It was a surprise tribute at the White House.
The President honoured Biden with "an additional level of veneration." With this, Biden became the fourth person in US history to receive the award, alongside Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell.
About Joe Biden
• Joe Biden is the 47th Vice President of the United States.
• He is also the first Roman Catholic and the first Delawarean to be Vice President of the United States.
• He is a member of the Democratic Party.
• He represented Delaware as a United States Senator from 1973 until becoming Vice President in 2009.
• He was first elected to the Senate in 1972. With this, he became the sixth youngest senator in the history of the United States of America.
• He chaired the Judiciary Committee during the controversial U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
About Presidential Medal of Freedom
• The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States.
• The honour was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
• It is the highest civilian award of the United States.
• It honours the people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
• The award is not limited to US citizens.
• Though, it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military personnel and worn on the uniform.
Who: Joe Biden
When: 12 January 2017