Accessibility links

White House Announces Recipients for Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Bush has announced this year's recipients for the country's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Medal is awarded "to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

In a statement Thursday, the White House said 14 individuals were being honored and will receive the medals in a ceremony at the White House next Wednesday.

The honorees include boxing champion Muhammad Ali, actress Carol Burnett, singer Aretha Franklin, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and entertainer Andy Griffith.

Also being recognized are radio personality Paul Harvey; golf great Jack Nicklaus; and General Richard Myers, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A Rwandan, Paul Rusesabagina, will also receive the medal for sheltering people at the hotel he managed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, helping save the lives of more than 1,000 people.