List of foreign recipients of the Légion d'Honneur by decade

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The Order of Légion d'Honneur is the highest decoration in France and is divided into five degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross).

Membership in the Légion d'Honneur is restricted to French nationals.[1] Foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds[2] may, however, receive a distinction of the Légion, which is nearly the same thing as membership in the Légion. Foreign nationals who live in France are submitted to the same requirements as Frenchmen. Foreign nationals who live abroad may be awarded a distinction of any rank or dignity in the Légion.

A complete, chronological list of the members of the Legion of Honour nominated from the very first ceremony in 1803 to now does not exist. The number is estimated at one million. Among them about 3000 were decorated with the Grand Cross (including 1200 French).[3]

List of recipients[edit]

1880 to 1889[edit]

1900 to 1909[edit]

1910 to 1919[edit]

1920 to 1929[edit]

1930 to 1939[edit]

1940 to 1949[edit]

1950 to 1959[edit]

French President Vincent Auriol presenting Eleanor Roosevelt with the Legion of Honor during his visit to the Roosevelt estate at Hyde Park, New York (April 4, 1951)

1960 to 1969[edit]

1980 to 1989[edit]

  • Orson Welles (1982) (United States), actor, writer, director and producer; Order of Commander[45]
  • Rand Araskog (1987), (US), American executive[46]
  • Manuel Noriega (1987), (Panama), General commander of the Panamanian Defense Force[47]
  • Marechal Francisco da Costa Gomes. 1984 -Grã-Cruz da Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur.[citation needed]

1990 to 1999[edit]

2000 to 2009[edit]

  • Michael Flaxman (2001) (United Kingdom), Chevalier of Legion d'Honneur. Services to France.
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves (2001) (Estonia), President; Commander of the Légion d'Honneur.[citation needed]
  • Quincy Jones (2001) (US), the American record producer and musician[54]
  • Guadalupe Loaeza (2003) (Mexico), writer, received the title of Chevalier[55]
  • Henry Allingham (2003) (UK), world's oldest man and oldest British First World War veteran at the time of his death (appointed Chevalier in 2003 and promoted to Officier in 2009)[56][57]
  • Vahid Halilhodžić (2004), former Bosnian football player, now successful football manager, received his Légion d'Honneur on 23 July 2004, during his tenure as manager of PSG[58]
  • Martin Scorsese (2005) (US), film director and advocate of film preservation[59]
  • Vladimir Putin (2006) (Russia), President of Russian Federation[60]
  • Lt. Col. Herbert E. Carter (2006) (US), Tuskegee Airman, for his outstanding service during the liberation of France during World War II; presented by former French President Jacques Chirac[61]
  • Valentino Garavani (2006) (Italy), Italian fashion designer[62]
  • Professor John Dunmore CMNZ (2007), prominent New Zealand academic, author on French history in the Pacific and long-time president of the New Zealand Federation des Alliances Francaises[63]
  • Amitabh Bachchan (2007) (India), actor and Bollywood star[64]
  • Lata Mangeshkar (2007) (India), singer[65]
  • Im Kwon-taek (2007) (South Korea), film director[66]
  • HRH Galyani Vadhana (2007) (Thailand), was decorated with the Grand Officer[67][68]
  • Clint Eastwood (2007) (US), film actor and director[69]
  • Rogerio Walter Carreira (2007) (Portugal), President de Societe, was awarded the Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur by French President Jacques Chirac[70]
  • David Lynch (2007) (US), film director[71]
  • Festus Mogae (2008) (Botswana), the President[72]
  • Íngrid Betancourt (2008) (Colombia), a Colombian-French politician, released after six years of captivity under the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)[73]
  • Kutateladze Samson (2008) (Georgia), Brigade General Member of Parliament[citation needed]
  • Shimon Peres (2008) (Israel), the President[74]
  • Giorgio Armani (2008) (Italy), internationally renowned Italian fashion, furniture, and accessories designer[75]
  • Miriam Were (2008) (Kenya), health advocate[76]
  • Randa Habib (2008) (Lebanon), the Lebanese-French director of Agence France Presse's office in Amman, Jordan[73]
  • Dame Ellen MacArthur (2008) (UK), a sailor who previously held the record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in a yacht[77]
  • Charles Durning (2008) (US), actor, in recognition of his service with distinction during World War II in France[78]
  • Alain Frecon (2008) (US), honorary consul of France, Minnesota[79]
  • Steven Spielberg (2008) (US), film director, studio executive, and producer[80]
  • David Cronenberg (2009) (Canada), film director whose credits include Crash and The Fly; appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
  • Milva (Maria Ilva Biolcati) (2009) (Italy), Italian singer and actress, received the title of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour on 11 September 2009 for her contributions to French culture[81]
  • Dame Carol Kidu (2009) (Papua New Guinea), received the title of Chevalier, for her efforts on promoting human rights. She was the first Papua New Guinean citizen to receive the award[82][83]
  • Veran Matić (2009) (Serbia), Serbian journalist and editor-in-chief of B92 "for the fight he has always led for independence and freedom of the media"[84]
  • Ružica Đinđić (2009) (Serbia), Serbian humanitarian, widow of Prime Minister of Serbia Zoran Đinđić "because of her active work at the foundation she heads"[84]
  • John Galliano (2009) (UK), Gibraltarian British couture designer, creative director of Christian Dior[85]
  • J. K. Rowling (2009) (UK), British author, writer of the acclaimed Harry Potter series[86][87]
  • Ralph L. Bourgeois MD (2009) (US), Captain US Army 91st Medical Gas Treatment Battalion & Mobile Field Surgical Hospital, WW II D-Day at Utah Beach contributions to the liberation of the French Republic; and French language preservation via 'Council for Development of French in Louisiana' (CODOFIL)[88]
  • James T. Conway (2009) (US), General, United States Marine Corps Commandant[89]
  • William "Bill" Bruce Overstreet, Jr. (2009) (US), USAAF, WWII Fighter Pilot, with the 357th FG, 363rd FS. The "Yoxford Boys". Flew a P-51 "Mustang", named "Berlin Express". Only known Allied fighter pilot to turn in a kill while flying under the "Eiffel Tower" in Paris chasing a German Me-109. Chevalier medal, presented by Ambassador to the US Pierre Vimont at the D-Day Memorial 8_December_2009AD, Bedford, VA US. Vimont said of Bill Overstreet in his speech that the Legion of Honour is "The sign of my country's exceptional recognition of Captain Overstreet's heroic contribution to the liberation of France."[90][91][92][93][94]
  • Robert O. Paxton (2009) (US), Historian recognised for his expertise on the Vichy regime in France during World War II[95]
  • Steve Pisanos (2009) (US), Colonel, World War II fighter pilot, after shot down participated with the French Resistance[96]
  • Peter Sloboda (2009) (US), Army veteran of World War II – for valour and bravery during the D-Day landings, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour 2009[97]
  • Settimeo Tiberio (2009) (US), decorated World War II Veteran recognised for his valour during the D-Day invasion[98][99]
  • Colonel Frederick C. Clinton, April 2009, Decorated World War II Army veteran recognized for his combat actions in the Colmar Pocket battles of January–February 1945 as a member of D Company, 254th Infantry Regiment attached to the 3rd Infantry Division.[citation needed]
  • Violette Verdy (2009) (France)[citation needed]

2010 to present[edit]

  • Marie Chatardová (born 1963). Czech Ambassador to France (2010-2016). Commander.[100]
  • Orlow "Buzz" Freeman Garrett (2010), American graphic artist; U.S. Army, 3rd Infantry Division, I Company, 30th Regiment (WWII)[101] Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur.
  • Toni Morrison (2010), "the greatest American woman novelist of her time" -Mitterrand 2010[102]
  • Mehriban Aliyeva (2010), Azerbaijan's first lady[103]
  • Nigeria-Sunny A. Oluseyi Jegede (2010), past Chairman of the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce & Industry,
  • Vladimir Spivakov (2011) (Russia), violinist and conductor[104]
  • Joseph Brodsky (2011) (Russia/US), poet and essayist; won 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature[104]
  • Aleksey Venediktov (2011) (Russia), editor-in-chief of Echo of Moscow radio station[104]
  • Sergey Yastrzhembsky (2011) (Russia), diplomat and politician[104]
  • Emir Kusturica (2011), Serbian filmmaker[105]
  • Ambiga Sreenevasan (2011), "for her work in human rights advocacy"[106][107]
  • Iñaki Azkuna (2011) (Basque Country), Mayor of the city of Bilbao.[citation needed]
  • Same Ekobo Albert (2011) (Cameroun), "Professor of Medecine. Malaria Specialist"[108]
  • Eddy Merckx (2011) (Belgium), most decorated professional cyclist of all time- Comandeur of the Légion d'honneur[109]
  • Aung San Suu Kyi (2012) (Myanmar), politician, Pro-democracy leader; won 1991 Nobel Laureate in peace. Awarded the honor by French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé on 16 January 2012[110]
  • Jacinto Convit (2011) (Venezuela), physician and scientist, known for developing a vaccine in an attempt to fight leprosy and his studies to cure different types of cancer. He was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his experimental anti-leprosy vaccine.
  • Carlos Cruz-Diez (2012) (Venezuela), kinetic and op artist. He lives in Paris. He has spent his professional career working and teaching between both Paris and Caracas. His work is represented in museums and public art sites internationally
  • Malvin E. Walker, American Army officer for his service in France in WWII.[citation needed]
  • Nicholas Lamia, United States Navy for his service in France in WWII. He was in the very first wave on Omaha Beach. Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur (13 February 2013)[citation needed]
  • Victor Erofeyev, Russian writer (3 October 2013)[citation needed]
  • Gennady Timchenko, Russian-Finnish businessmen (12 October 2013)[citation needed]
  • George Lizanich, American Army Staff Sergeant for his service in France in WWII[citation needed]
  • Frances "Rusty" Rice, b. 1920, American, US Army Nurse in the Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne, France WWII, Chevalier presented 27 December 2014AD[citation needed]
  • Johnie V. Arnold (2015), US Coast Guard, USS Bayfield (WWII), Normandy, Iwo Jima, Okinawa; Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, presented in January 2015 at the Arkansas State Capitol by Sujiro Seam, the consul general of France in Houston[111]
  • Tommy Gooch (2015), US Army, 90th Infantry Division (WWII), Normandy; Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, presented in January 2015 at the Arkansas State Capitol by Sujiro Seam, the consul general of France in Houston[111]
  • Greggory Swarz (2015) (US) USAF Staff Sgt. of the 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit, for saving three French Airmen from a fiery crash by pulling them from the wreckage and using a tourniquet to save the third airman whose hand was lost in the crash during a NATO training exercise at Los Llanos Air Base, Spain, where he also earned the USAF Airman's Medal[112][113]
  • Mark Moogalian (2015) (US), Chris Norman (UK), Anthony Sadler (US), Alek Skarlatos (US), and Spencer Stone (US) for stopping and subduing the gunman of the 2015 Thalys attack[114]
  • Yang Ho Cho chairman, Hanjin Group(South Korea), Grand Officier of the Légion d'honneur, presented in November 2015
  • Ronald Oxley (2015) (UK), b. 1923, former Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, for his role delivering ambulances to Omaha Beach on D-Day, in landing craft LCT 727.
  • Cedrik Wasser, a British veteran, was awarded Chevalier de la legion d'honneur in 2015 by President François Hollande for taking part in the Battle of Normandy and helping the liberation of France.
  • Robert Vincent Eley was appointed Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur in November 2015 in recognition of his acknowledged military engagement and steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War.
  • Robert M Gardner (Awarded December 2015) For Invaluable contribution to the liberation of France. Robert landed on Gold beach during the Normandy Invasion as part of the 49th West Riding Infantry Division. (Polar Bear) and went on to Fontenay-Le-Pesnel where he was involved in a heavy battle with the 12th SS Panzer Division. During this battle Robert was badly wounded. During his recovery he was nursed by Q.A. Sister Mary, whom later became his wife, and was still by his side when Robert received his medal 71 years later.
  • Lance Corporal William Sutherland (Born 1921, Died 2015)(Awarded December 2015) For his contribution to the liberation of France. Posted with the Seaforth Highlanders (51st Division, 2nd Battalion) he was part of the invading forces at Normandy and saw action in Italy and Africa. William Died before he could be presented with his award.
  • Derrick Dighton, a British veteran, was awarded Chevalier de la legion d'honneur in 2016 for his efforts during the D-DAY landings.
  • John Mierzejewski, Chevalier, (awarded May 2016), Private 1st Class (US Army), 29th infantry division, 16th infantry regiment, Heavy artillery gunner. Landed on Omaha Beach as part of the second wave of the invasion of Normandy[115]
  • Lionel Barber, Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, for European journalism[116]
  • Peter Chesney, Gunner, 109 Battery, 33 Field Regiment The Royal Artillery, Battle of Caen in the summer of 1944. Awarded Legion d’Honneur at Hillingdon Hospital's Beaconsfield East Ward on Thursday, 3 November 2016, aged 92.
  • Frederick Ernest Hart (11 November 2016), from Surrey, aged 92 years, Signalman in the Royal Navy[117]
  • Geoffrey William Penn, appointed Chevalier on 18 November 2016 in recognition of his service during the liberation of France as an officer in the Royal Signals during the Normandy Landings.
  • Yiannis Boutaris, Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, Mayor of Thessaloniki, Greece. Awarded 5 December 2016
  • Bill Gates and Melinda Gates in April 2017 for their charity effort[118]
  • Frank Edward Whalley QPM (Queen's Police Medal), retired Chief Superintendent with Staffordshire Police and former Commandant of Eynsham Hall Police Training Centre. A Corporal in the Royal Irish Fusiliers during WW11, awarded the Légion d'honneur in 2015, aged 91, in recognition for his part in the D-Day Normandy Landings (Gold Beach).[119]
  • LeRoy M Wagner was appointed Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur in August 2018, in recognition of his acknowledged military engagement and steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War. Wagner was a Tech Sergeant. 45th Infantry Division, 157th Infantry Regiment, Anti Tank, "The Thunderbirds". Wagner passed away in December 2017 and was awarded posthumously.
  • Marcus "Stub" Bartusek (9 October 2018) US Army, 106th Infantry Division's 424th Regiment, Company H, 2nd Battalion with whom he participated, endured and survived the Battle of the Bulge and liberation of France in WWII.[120]

References[edit]

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