Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Hanks and More Celebs to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks
Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images SeriousFun Children's Network

What a group! The White House announced Wednesday, November 16, that Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks are among the notable names who will be honored with the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

PHOTOS: Celebrities' Political Affiliations

Read article

President Barack Obama named 21 individuals who he feels are deserving of the medal. The following individuals will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom: talk show host DeGeneres, 58; actors Hanks, 60, Robert De Niro, Cicely Tyson and Robert RedfordSaturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels; music legends Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen; athletes Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Vin Scully; physicist Richard Garwin; activist Elouise Cobell (posthumous); philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates; scientists Margaret H. Hamilton and Grace Hopper (posthumous); artist Maya Lin; attorney Newt Minow and Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón.

PHOTOS: Michelle Obama's Style

Read article

According to a White House press release, the recipients of the award “have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant or private endeavors.”

PHOTOS: Stars Who Played the President

Read article
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Florida Memorial University on October 20, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Florida Memorial University on Oct. 20, 2016, in Miami Gardens, FL. Alexander Tamargo/WireImage

Obama, 55, released a statement Wednesday regarding this year’s honorees, the final crop of his presidency before President-elect Donald Trump’s January 20 inauguration.

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor — it’s 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,” POTUS said. “From scientists, philanthropists and public servants to activists, athletes and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”

PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton’s A-List Supporters

Read article

The event, which is set to take place at the White House on November 22, will be streamed live at: whitehouse.gov/live.

 

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!