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The Profile in Courage Award is a private award given to recognize displays of courage similar to those "John F. Kennedy described in his book "Profiles in Courage. It is given to individuals (often elected officials) who, by acting in accord with their "conscience, risked their careers or lives by pursuing a larger vision of the national, state or local interest in opposition to "popular opinion or pressure from constituents or other local interests.
The winners of the award are selected by a bi-partisan committee named by the "John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which includes members of the "Kennedy family and other prominent Americans. It is generally awarded each year around the time of Kennedy's birthday (May 29) at a ceremony at the "Kennedy Library in "Boston. The award is generally presented by Kennedy's daughter "Caroline Kennedy. Also before their deaths Senator "Edward Kennedy, "John F. Kennedy Jr., and former First Lady "Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Two recipients, "John Lewis (in 2001) and "William Winter (in 2008), were designated as honorees for Lifetime Achievement.
The winner is presented with a "sterling silver "lantern made by "Tiffany's which was designed by "Edwin Schlossberg. The lantern is patterned after the lanterns on USS "Constitution, the last sail-powered ship to remain part of the "US Navy, which is permanently moored nearby.