President Obama on Thursday named 16 individuals who will receive the Presidential
Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony later this year. They include former president
Bill Clinton, media personality
Oprah Winfrey, former
Washington Post editor
Ben Bradlee, singer
Loretta Lynn, and baseball Hall-of-Famer
Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs.
Others named to the list are Princeton professor
Daniel Kahneman, who received the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics; former Indiana senator
Richard Lugar; chemist and environmental scientist
Mario Molina; jazz artist and composer
Arturo Sandoval; former University of North Carolina basketball coach
Dean Smith; feminist and
Ms. magazine cofounder
Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, a minister and civil rights leader; and former US appellate court judge
The list also includes three individuals being honored posthumously: senator
Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who received the Medal of Honor for his service in World War II and who
was the first Japanese American to be elected to Congress; astronaut
Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space; and
Bayard Rustin, an adviser to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who organized the 1963 March on Washington.
According to the White House, this is the 50th anniversary of the medal being established
by President John F. Kennedy. In that time, more than 500 individuals have been honored.