The Four Freedoms Medals are presented each year to men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to those principles which President Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress on January 6, 1941, as essential to democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.
The Roosevelt Institute has awarded the Freedoms Medals to some of the most distinguished Americans and world citizens of our time, including Harry S. Truman, H.R.H. Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, J. William Fulbright, Arthur Miller, Desmond Tutu, Terry Waite, and Jimmy Carter.
The international award of the Four Freedoms Medals, which is made in Middelburg, the Netherlands, in even-numbered years, began in 1982, the centennial of President Roosevelt’s birth and bicentennial of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Netherlands. In odd-numbered years the awards are presented to Americans in Hyde Park, New York.
The head of the Four Freedoms Medal was designed by the sculptor Alfred Maletsky and shows the portrait of President Roosevelt with Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Medal as circumscription. The back was designed by the sculptor William Shoyer. It shows two male and two female figures, symbolizing the Four Freedoms, their attributes being the Word, Prayer, the Horn of Plenty and a protecting Shield. The inscription reads: Speech, Worship, Want and Fear.