WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will bestow the Medal of Freedom posthumously on Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space.
Obama says Ride was a role model to young women and showed that achievement has no limits. He says Ride advocated for innovation in science, engineering and math.
Ride rode on the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983. She died in July 2012 at 61 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Ride broke another barrier by disclosing that she was gay at the end of an obituary she co-wrote with her same-sex partner before her death. The White House says Ride's partner was notified last week of the award along with her mother and sister.
The award will be presented later this year.