WASHINGTON (CBSLA.com) — President Obama will award 16 recipients with the prestigious Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony later this year.
The award is the highest honor the US bestows upon citizens.
Of the 16 recipients this year, a number of pop culture personalities, musicians and scientists were selected. A statement from the White House said President Obama’s selections included people who contributed to America’s cultural, security and public interest.
President John Kennedy re-introduced the award 50 years ago. More than 500 Americans have been so honored.
This year’s recipients are:
• Former President Bill Clinton
• Network owner Oprah Winfrey
• Baseball Hall of Famer aka Mr. Cub Ernie Banks
• Former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee
″ Former Senator and WWII Vet Daniel Inouye
• Nobel Prize winner Psychologist Daniel Kahneman
• Former Senator Richard Lugar
• Country music legend Loretta Lynn
• Environmentalist Mario Molina
• First American woman in space Sally Ride
• Civil rights activist Bayard Rustin
• Composer Arturo Sandoval
• Former Head Coach of North Carolina basketball Dean Smith
• Writer/Activist Gloria Steinem
• Civil rights leader Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian
• Appellate court Judge Patricia Wald
Awards given to Ride, Rustin and Inouye will be presented posthumously.