Cesar Chavez was a social activist of the 1960s, most famous for his work in helping to improve the lives of California farm workers. The son of migrant laborers, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) and later the United Farm Workers (UFW). He led a five-year nonviolent boycott against California grape growers, protesting poor working conditions and the use of pesticides harmful to farm workers. The boycott became a cause celebre and was finally successful in winning new rights for workers. In 1994, Cesar Chavez was posthumously awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.