Awards
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People Who Refused Prestigious Awards

Updated November 13, 2018 29.8k views23 items

It's uncommon for recipients to turn down prestigious rewards, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. From knighthoods to Grammys, all manner of highly respected honors have been refused. Some of the biggest names of the 20th century declined prestigious awards granted them - Marlon Brando, David Bowie, Stephen Hawking, and Jean-Paul Sartre. It seems as if for every award handed out, there are an equal number turned down. 

As a society, we love honoring achievement. Awards, from the Nobel Prize to Oscars, honor those who achieve greatness or express ingenuity in math, science, literature, film, music, and more. But what happens when these people don't want to be honored? Among other things, it lands them on this list of people who declined awards and refused honors. 

Take a look at our list of people who refused prestigious awards, and then ask yourself, would you ever do the same?