Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has been announced as the 2013 recipient of the Profile in Courage Award.
The award, handed out annually by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, is given to someone who demonstrated courage "without regard for the personal or professional consequences." Giffords, who was a gun rights supporter while serving in Congress, has taken up a campaign against gun violence since returning to public life after surviving a 2011 assassination attempt.
"Gabby Giffords has inspired the world with her bravery and her dedication to making change through the political process,” said Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. “Instead of retreating following the tragic shooting that ended her congressional career, she has recommitted herself to fighting for a more peaceful society free from hate and violence. She is a true Profile in Courage.”
Giffords will be presented with the award on May 5 at a ceremony in Boston.
The panel that selects the winner includes politicians and civic leaders from across the political spectrum, including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and GOP former senator Olympia Snowe (Maine).
Previous recipients who hold public office include Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who both won it in 1999, and former senator Ted Kennedy, who won it shortly before his death in 2009.