Sidney Poitier: No Bigger Star on the Big Screen

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Pres. Barack Obama  presents the Medal of Freedom to Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House August 12, 2009. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Pres. Barack Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House August 12, 2009. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/WPGC) - There’s no shortage of “firsts” when describing the next Black History Month icon.

Sir Sidney Poitier — actor, director, author and diplomat — became the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lilies of the Field in 1963.

In 1967, Poitier was the top star at the box office with three successful films: To Sir With Love, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night.

In 2009, Sir Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

Check back all month for WPGC’s tribute to Black History Month.

99.1 WNEW’s Cheryl Simone contributed to this report

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