Two of Hollywood’s most beloved stars Tom hanks and Ellen DeGeneres are set to receive America’s highest civilian honor.
The Oscar-winning actor, often dubbed America’s dad and the Emmy-winning talk show host, actress and comedienne are among 21 recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom, reports E! Online.
The award, recently announced by President Barack Obama, is presented to “individuals 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,”
“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,” Obama said in a White House statement.
“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,” he added.
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Other honorees include actors Robert De Niro and Robert Redford, performers Bruce Springsteen, Cicely Tyson and Diana Ross, SNL creator Lorne Michaels, former NBA stars Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, recently retired and beloved Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully.
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Polymath physicist Richard Garwin, Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates, architect Frank Gehry, mathematician and computer scientist Margaret H. Hamilton, artist Maya Lin, attorney Newt Minow and President of Miami Dade College Eduardo Padron.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, known as ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘the first lady of software,’ and Blackfeet Tribal community leader Elouise Cobell will be honoured posthumously.
The presentation of the 2016 ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ awards will take place on November 22 and livestreamed on http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.