Twenty-one recipients will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced today, and the roster is impressive. Among those honored are Bruce Springsteen, Vin Scully, Diana Ross, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Lorne Michael, Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, and others.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is deemed the country’s highest civilian honor, and it’s presented to individuals those “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to a release.
The awards will be presented at the White House on November 22, and the event will be streamed live at whitehouse.gov/live.
“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,” says President Obama. “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 Boss’ team tweeted out the news earlier today.
Bruce has been named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. https://t.co/akyGpryjud
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) November 16, 2016
Below is the full list of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, with their bio from the White House:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the National Basketball Association’s all-time leading scorer who helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships and the Milwaukee Bucks to another. During his career, Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a 19-time NBA All-Star. Before joining the NBA, he was a star player at UCLA, leading the Bruins to three consecutive championships. In addition to his legendary basketball career, Abdul-Jabbar has been an outspoken advocate for social justice.