Marian Wright Edelman
Throughout her career, Marian Wright Edelman has fought on behalf of disadvantaged Americans. She was the first African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi bar, devoting her talents to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense at the height of the civil rights movement. Edelman founded the Children's Defense Fund in 1973 and now serves as President. She has received over 100 honorary degrees including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.