Barack Obama to receive Kennedy Foundation Profile In Courage award

Former US president Barack Obama will be receiving the John F. Kennedy Foundation's annual Profile In Courage Award.
Former US president Barack Obama will be receiving the John F. Kennedy Foundation's annual Profile In Courage Award. PHOTO: REUTERS

BOSTON (REUTERS) - Former US President Barack Obama is expected in Boston on Sunday (May 7) to receive the John F. Kennedy Foundation's annual Profile In Courage Award, honouring his accomplishments during his two terms in office in the face of intense political opposition.

"President Kennedy called on a new generation of Americans to give their talents to the service of the country," said Ms Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy's daughter, who will present the award at a ceremony beginning at 8.30pm EDT (0030 GMT).

"With exceptional dignity and courage, President Obama has carried that torch into our own time, providing young people of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate," Ms Kennedy said in a statement. She served as US ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration.

Previous recipients include Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush; former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt; US Senator and former prisoner of war John McCain; and US Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis.

The award takes its name from Mr Kennedy's 1957 book profiling eight US senators who risked their careers by taking politically unpopular stands.

Mr Obama, a Democrat, recently stepped back into the public eye, as his Republican successor Donald Trump strives to roll back some of Mr Obama's most important policy achievements.

The House of Representatives last week narrowly passed a Bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, a 2010 law that enabled 20 million more Americans to get health insurance.

Healthcare reform had long been a priority of US Senator Edward Kennedy, brother of John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov 22, 1963.

In his few public appearances so far this year, Mr Obama has avoided commenting on Mr Trump, instead urging young people to remain politically active. Last week, he laid out plans for his Chicago presidential library.

Sunday's ceremony will be held at President Kennedy's waterfront library, which overlooks Boston Harbour.