Joseph Medicine Crow '36
April 22, 2011
Joseph Medicine Crow, from Lodge Grass, Montana, received his 8th Grade Diploma in 1930, High School Diploma in 1934 and his Associates Degree in 1936 from Bacone College, which at that time offered elementary through college level classes. It was here that he formed an interest in other tribes that still exists today. A renowned author, Medicine Crow is the recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees, from USC, University of Montana, Rocky Mountain College, and Bacone College.
A tribal historian, Medicine Crow has received many honors in his long and illustrious life. He fulfilled all four tasks required by the Crow Nation to gain his warrior chief status while fighting in Europe in WWII and is the last of his tribe to do so. He touched an enemy in battle, captured a weapon, led a war party, and stole 50 Nazi SS Horses from a German Camp. In recognition of his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star by the US Army. Simultaneously, the Government of France made him a knight of the French Legion of Honor—France’s highest honor.
In August 2009 Medicine Crow, a 95-year-old American Indian of the Crow Nation in Montana, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The honored was bestowed on him by United States President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States. It recognizes those individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Medicine Crow is also an accomplished author and has written several books including “Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond,” “From The Heart of Crow Country: The Crow Indians’ Own Stories,” ”Brave Wolf and The Thunderbird” and “The Last Warrior.”