President Joe Biden, on March 21, 2023, presented the 2021 National Humanities Medal to Indian American actress and producer Vera Mindy Chokalingam, popularly known as Mindy Kaling, during a White House ceremony.
The National Medal of Arts and Humanities is the highest award the government confers upon individuals who have made significant contributions to arts and humanities.
“Mindy Kaling’s work across television, film, and books inspires and delights—capturing and uplifting the experiences of women and girls across the nation,” Kaling’s award citation issued by the White House read.
Presenting the award to Kaling, Biden said that she is the first woman of color to create, write and star in a primetime sitcom. “She is hardworking and an adoring mom, just like her own mom was. And, Mindy, we know your mom is always with you in your spirit. We know that” the President added.
Kaling, 43, is a daughter of Indian immigrants and was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1979. She was earlier nominated for the prestigious Emmy Award recognizing her work in the NBC sitcom The Office.
The 12 recipients of the 2021 National Humanities Award include; Richard Blanco, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Walter Isaacson, Walter Isaacson, Henrietta Mann, Ann Patchett, and Amy Tan.