Honorees - MEDAL OF FREEDOM
President Obama named the recipients of the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday, a list that includes cultural, athletic and philanthropic luminaries like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Hanks and Bill and Melinda Gates. It is the last time Mr. Obama will award the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Other recipients of the 2016 medals include Robert De Niro, the architect Frank Gehry, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan, “Saturday Night Live's" creator Lorne Michaels, sportscaster Vin Scully, Bruce Springsteen and Cicely Tyson.
The medals will be presented during a White House ceremony on Nov. 22 and live-streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live. The complete list of the 21 honorees can be found on the White House website.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and is awarded annually to people who have made exceptional contributions to the national interest, to world peace or to cultural or other significant endeavors.
Mr. Obama said in a statement that the Medal of Freedom was “a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better.” The 2016 recipients had “helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way,”.