The award, created by President John F. Kennedy, recognizes significant achievements in politics, world peace, science, culture and other fields and is the nation’s highest honor presented civilians.
Among the other recipients included Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Sally Ride, Dick Lugar, Gloria Steinem, Ernie Banks, Ben Bradlee, Daniel Inouye, Arturo Sandoval.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom – established by executive order in 1963 – is awarded to people who have made "especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." In its half-century, the medal has been awarded to more than 500 individuals.
Wednesday night, the President will headline a dinner at the American History Museum that will honor the recipients.
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