Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP
On May 29, Dylan joined 12 other luminaries to accept the prestigious honor from President Barack Obama, who called the 71-year-old folk-rock poet one of his personal heroes.
A large crowd of staffers gathered in the East Room to watch as Dylan, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, pioneering former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other accomplished Americans. "It's a testament to how cool this group is," the President said. "Everybody wanted to check 'em out."
The President said during Tuesday's ceremony that he vividly remembered his world "opening up" when he listened to Dylan's music while he was at university. "He captured something about his country that was so vital," he said.
Obama added, "There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music."
Clad in sunglasses (which he did not remove for the ceremony), Dylan was stoic throughout the ceremony, remaining characteristically cool and collected as the President fastened the medal around his neck.
This is far from Dylan's first high honor. Obama also bestowed the National Medal of Art upon the 11-time Grammy winner (although Dylan was unable to accept it in person). And in 1997, Dylan was one of the year's Kennedy Center Honor recipients.