Obama to Give George H.W. Bush, Warren Buffett Presidential Medal of Freedom
The White House announced today that President Barack Obama has named 15 recipients of the nation's highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- to be presented at a ceremony next year. Among the recipients are 41st U.S. President George H.W. Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, author Maya Angelou and world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals for "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."
"These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds and they've excelled in a broad range of fields, but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place," Obama said. "I look forward to awarding them this honor."
Here is the full list of honorees:
1. 41st U.S. President George H.W. Bush
2. German Chancellor Angela Merkel
3. Congressman John Lewis
4. Natural Resources Defense Council co-founder John Adams
5. Author Maya Angelou
6. Investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett
7. Artist Jasper Johns
8. Holocaust survivor and author Gerda Weissmann Klein
9. Optometrist Dr. Tom Little (posthumous)
10. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma
11. Civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez
12. Baseball Hall of Fame member Stan "The Man" Musial
13. Eleven-time NBA champion Bill Russell
14. VSA founder Jean Kennedy Smith
15. AFL-CIO President Emeritus John J. Sweeney
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