Sylvester Stallone, Martha Stewart, Elon Musk to receive RBG Awards next month in DC

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the 2024 RBG Awards
Sylvester Stallone attends the grand opening of Fontainebleau Las Vegas on December 13, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Getty Images/Ethan Miller)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This event is not affiliated with the Library of Congress. It is being held there as a private event. This story has been corrected and updated. 

We now know the newest recipients of the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Leadership Awards, which will be presented by the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation next month in D.C.

This year’s RBG Awards will go to entrepreneur Elon Musk, actor and filmmaker Sylvester Stallone, lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, philanthropist Michael Milken and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Established in 2020, the RBG Awards have traditionally honored trailblazing women, including Barbra Streisand, Diane von Furstenberg and Queen Elizabeth II, but they were expanded this year to include both men and women.

“Justice Ginsburg fought not only for women but for everyone,” said Julie Opperman, chair of the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, which presents the award. “Going forward, to embrace the fullness of Justice Ginsburg’s legacy, we honor both women and men who have changed the world.”

This year’s honorees were selected based on five specific categories of influence.

The Entrepreneurship category will acknowledge Musk, the billionaire co-founder of electric carmaker Tesla and chairman of rocket ship company SpaceX who also recently took over Twitter and renamed it to X.

“Free speech is the foundation of democracy,” Musk told the foundation in response to the award.

The Cultural Icon category will salute Stallone, who earned Oscar nominations for writing and starring in “Rocky” (1976) and another for his performance in the sequel “Creed” (2015).

“I am sincerely honored to be the RBG Award’s first Cultural Icon recipient,” Stallone told the foundation. “At the end of the day, it is truly humbling to know that when you completely empty yourself for your art, it is not only well received but transformational for so many people all over the world.”

The Industry Leadership category will celebrate lifestyle icon Martha Stewart.

“Like Justice Ginsburg, I believe in limitless opportunity and parity for everyone,” Stewart told the foundation. “I have always been inspired by her tenacious spirit, work ethic, and her personal commitment to justice. I am so honored to be recognized with this award in her name.”

The Philanthropy category will honor Michael Milken of the Milken Family Foundation, the Michael and Lori Milken Family Foundation, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Milken Institute.

“I feel humbled to be the recipient of an award named for the highly accomplished and respected former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and presented by the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, which represents the best in philanthropy and service to the community,” Milken told the foundation. “You are also honoring my wife of 55 years, Lori, as well as all the talented men and women it has been our privilege to work with and learn from.”

Finally, the Media Mogul category goes to Murdoch, founder of Fox News’ parent company NewsCorp.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Leadership Award,” Murdoch told the foundation. “This recognition not only reflects my journey in the media and publishing industry but also represents the relentless defense of civil liberties and a commitment to civil discourse that Justice Ginsburg embodied. Her unique ability to maintain friendships and professional relationships across the political spectrum was one of her greatest attributes.”

Opperman confirmed to WTOP that all five recipients will be attending the red-carpet event.

The awards ceremony and gala will be held at the Library of Congress on April 13.

The ceremony is unaffiliated with the Library of Congress, which is merely serving as the venue.

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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