- Posthumous recognition
A posthumous recognition is a ceremonial award given after the recipient has died, usually in honor of an action associated with their death.
Awards are normally given while the recipient is alive, but when awarded after death, the recipient is referred to as having been "awarded posthumously." Some awards are given "only" after the death of the recipient, and thus are by definition a posthumous recognition. Conversely, some awards, such as the
Nobel Prize, and most knighthoods, are forbidden from being awarded posthumously.
*As part of the criteria for bestowing the
Medal of Honoror the Victoria Cross, the recipient must have risked "great self-sacrifice" in an act of extraordinary heroism. As a consequence, many are awarded posthumously because the recipient was either killed outright or mortally woundedduring the action in which the medal was awarded.
Darwin Awardis often given as a posthumous recognition, since one of the criteria for receiving it is that the recipient must have committed an act that unintentionally led to their own removal from the human gene pool, "i.e.," either their own death or self-sterilization.
*The victims of the
Virginia Tech massacrehave been awarded posthumous degrees.
*Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon were the first soldiers to be awarded Medals of Honor posthumously since the
Vietnam War. They received these for defending a crashed helicopter from hundreds of advancing Somalis in the Battle of Mogadishu.
Jeanne Eagelswas the only actress to be nominated for an Academy Award(1929) after her death. James Deanwas the first actor (1955, and again in 1956). Spencer Tracy, Peter Finch, Sir Ralph Richardsonand Massimo Troisiwere similarly recognized, though Finch is the only actor or actress to actually win the award posthumously. Heath Ledgeris a favorite to win a posthumous Oscar for his performance in The Dark Knight (2008), having already been confirmed for receiving the Chauvel Award [cite news
title = Ledger to get posthumous award
publisher = The Australian
url = http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24039899-12377,00.html] posthumously. For full details of such nominations and awards, see
List of posthumous Academy Award winners and nominees.
Pelle Lindbergh(G, Philadelphia Flyers) in 1986and Sean Taylor(FS, Washington Redskins) in 2008were each posthumously elected to their respective All-Star Games as starters for the season during which they died. (Lindbergh to the NHL All-Star Game and Taylor to the NFL's Pro Bowl.)
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