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