President Barack Obama Hosts His Last Medal of Freedom Ceremony Where He Awards 21 Influential Civilians


Tuesday, President Barack Obama broke the record for the President who has awarded the most Medals of Freedom with a total of 114. Among others, 2016 recipients included Robert De Niro, “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, Bill & Melinda Gates, Cicely Tyson, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Ellen DeGeneres, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan. See more inside…

The medal of freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor and recognizes individuals for their contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace or to cultural endeavors. This year’s recipients represent a multitude of artists, athletes, activists, scientists, philanthropists and public servants.


Obama said in a statement, “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. 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.”
Ellen DeGerenes gets emotional as she receives her Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama

Check out the full list of 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Elouise Cobell (posthumous)
Ellen DeGeneres
Robert De Niro
Richard Garwin
Bill and Melinda Gates
Frank Gehry
Margaret H. Hamilton
Tom Hanks
Grace Hopper (posthumous)
Michael Jordan
Maya Lin
Lorne Michaels
Newt Minow
Eduardo Padrón
Robert Redford
Diana Ross
Vin Scully
Bruce Springsteen
Cicely Tyson

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