Caroline Kennedy will present the Speaker of the House with the award in May

Nancy Pelosi, US Speaker of the House, has been named the recipient of the 2019 JFK Profile in Courage award.

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In a statement, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation said Pelosi is being honored for “putting the national interest above her party's interest to expand access to health care for all Americans and then, against a wave of political attacks, leading the effort to retake the majority and elect the most diverse Congress in our nation's history.”

Pelosi is noted for her work on expanding access to healthcare for all Americans, as well as the repeal of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell.'

Caroline Kennedy and her son Jack Schlossberg will present Pelosi with her award during a ceremony on May 19 at the JFK Presidential Library.

Caroline Kennedy, who is the honorary president of her father’s library foundation, said: “Speaker Pelosi leads with strength, integrity, and grace under pressure – using her power to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens.”

“She is the most important woman in American political history and is a true Profile in Courage.”

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Pelosi said: “It is a great personal and official honor to receive the Profile in Courage Award, which stands as a powerful testament to the extraordinary legacy and leadership of President Kennedy.”

“At President Kennedy’s inauguration, I was blessed to hear him speak of ‘the energy, the faith, the devotion…that will light our country and all who serve it – and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.’”

“It is inspiring that the award itself is a lantern, a manifestation of that light. That energy, faith, and fire have inspired my work in the Congress and as Speaker, and it is my hope that my receiving this award will encourage others to pursue public service, and lead with courage, conviction, and conscience.”

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The Profile in Courage awards were established in 1989 when President Kennedy’s family wanted to honor his legacy. The title of the award is taken from the 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name that was written by the late US President.

The award, crafted by Tiffany & Co., is a sterling-silver lantern which symbolizes a beacon of hope.

“Hopefully, the symbolism of the lantern will also help us all go forward, following our courageous leader,” says Caroline Kennedy.

The winners of the annual award are chosen by a bipartisan panel of a distinguished national, political, and community leaders. The award itself is meant to highlight making the right choice, even if it's not the popular choice.

Caroline Kennedy presenting President Obama with the Profile in Courage Award (Getty Images)

Caroline Kennedy presenting President Obama with the Profile in Courage Award (Getty Images)

Pelosi joins a number of other American politicians in winning the award: President Barack Obama, US Senator John McCain, President Gerald Ford, President George H.W. Bush, US Representative Gabrielle Giffords have all won the award.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the recipient of the 2019 JFK Profile in Courage awardGetty Images