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Hubbard Medal

Anne Morrow Lindbergh's customized medal showing her flight route
Charles Lindbergh receives his medal from President Calvin Coolidge

The Hubbard Medal is awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. The medal is named for Gardiner Greene Hubbard, first National Geographic Society president. It is made of gold and is traditionally presented by the President of the United States.


Year Name Profession Reason
1906 Robert Peary polar explorer Farthest north travel by a human.
1907 Roald Amundsen polar explorer First to transit the Northwest Passage.
1909 Robert Bartlett polar explorer Traveled the farthest to the North Pole.
1910 Sir Ernest Shackleton polar explorer  
1926 Richard E. Byrd polar explorer/aviator First flight over the North Pole.
1927 Charles Lindbergh aviator First solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean
1931 Roy Chapman Andrews Gobi Desert explorer  
1934 Anne Morrow Lindbergh aviator For serving as radio operator and copilot to her husband Charles on two flights in 1931 and 1933
1935 Captain Orvil Arson Anderson[1] and Captain Albert William Stevens aeronauts[2] Record setting ascent in balloon Explorer II.
1954 British Mount Everest Expedition mountaineers First ascent of Mount Everest.(group award)[3]
1958 Paul Allen Siple polar explorer Veteran of several Antarctic expeditions.
1959 Adm. Arleigh Burke
Rear Adm. George J. Dufek
US Navy Establishing Antarctic science stations.
1962 John Glenn astronaut First American to orbit Earth.[4]
1962 Louis Leakey and Mary Leakey anthropologist  
1963 Norman Dyhrenfurth and his team mountaineers First Americans to climb to the summit of Mount Everest[5]
1969 Frank Borman
Jim Lovell
William Anders
astronauts First crewed flight to the Moon.[6]
1970 Neil Armstrong
Edwin Aldrin
Michael Collins
astronauts For first crewed landing on the Moon.[7]
1978 Marie Tharp
Bruce C. Heezen
1981 John Young
Robert Crippen
astronauts Awarded for first Space Shuttle flight.[8]
1994 Richard Leakey anthropologist  
1995 Jane Goodall environmentalist [9]
1996 Robert Ballard underwater explorer Discovery of the wreck of the RMS Titanic[10]
1999 Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones balloonists  
2000 Matthew Henson polar explorer Companion to first recipient Robert Peary. Awarded posthumously. (Not awarded at the time because of his race).[11]
2010 Don Walsh oceanographer Bathyscaphe Trieste Dive
2012 Jacques Piccard oceanographer First Mariana Trench expedition
2013 Sylvia Earle
James Cameron
E. O. Wilson
film director/explorer
Marine exploration
Marine exploration
Biological research
2015 George Schaller biologist for his unwavering commitment to the well-being of the world's most endangered species[12]
2016 Meave Leakey
Nainoa Thompson
2017 Neil deGrasse Tyson astrophysicist, author and science communicator [14]
2018 Peter H. Raven Biologist and environmentalist [15]

See also


  1. ^ National Geographic Society Hubbard Medal, Captain Orvil Anderson
  2. ^ First High-Altitude Photo Archived January 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Valentine, Vikki. "NPR : Archive: Eisenhower Awards Medal to 1953 Expedition".
  4. ^ "Hubbard Medal for John Glenn". Standard-Speaker. Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. April 10, 1962. p. 16. Retrieved October 15, 2018 – via
  5. ^ "John F. Kennedy: Remarks Upon Presenting the Hubbard Medal to the Leader of the American Everest Expedition".
  6. ^ "Hubbard Medal to Borman Crew". Muncie Evening Press. Muncie, Indiana. UPI. April 4, 1969. p. 5 – via
  7. ^ "Agnew Gives Medals to Apollo 11 Crew". La Crosse Tribune. La Crosse, Wisconsin. Associated Press. February 18, 1970. p. 6 – via
  8. ^ Holland, Dana. "Astronaut John W. Young – Other Awards". Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2007.
  9. ^ "Explorers-in-Residence: Jane Goodall". Archived from the original on June 14, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2007.
  10. ^ "Robert Ballard, Ocean Explorer". Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2007.
  11. ^ Fraser Solomon, Pam. "Stealing the Glory".
  12. ^ Room, National Geographic Press (June 10, 2015). "Virunga National Park Rangers to Accept National Geographic Explorers of the Year Honor – National Geographic Society Press Room". Archived from the original on June 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "Meave Leakey and Nainoa Thompson to Receive Hubbard Medal, National Geographic's Highest Honor". June 15, 2016. Archived from the original on June 16, 2016.
  14. ^ "High Honors". National Geographic. 232 (1): 152. July 2017.
  15. ^ "Hubbard Medal". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
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Hubbard Medal
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