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Bill Clinton, 15 Others to Receive Medal of Freedom

  • VOA News

Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the ceremony naming the new Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, after him, July 17, 2013.

Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the ceremony naming the new Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, after him, July 17, 2013.

A former U.S. president, a Hall of Fame baseball star, a country music icon and a television personality are among 16 recipients of the U.S. Medal of Freedom.

The medal is the country's highest civilian honor, created 50 years ago by the late President John F. Kennedy.

This year's recipients include former president Bill Clinton, who established the Clinton Foundation following his second term. Other recipients include former baseball superstar Ernie Banks, who played for the Chicago Cubs for 19 years, Loretta Lynn, the country music superstar known as the "Coal Miner's Daughter" for her tales of poverty and heartbreak, and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey, who is best known for creating The Oprah Winfrey Show.

President Barack Obama says these individuals and the other recipients dedicated their lives to enriching ours by sharing their talents with the world.

The Medal of Freedom will be handed out later this year at a White House ceremony.

The other recipients include former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee; the late U.S. senator from Hawaii Daniel Inouye; Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman; Republican Senator from Indiana and arms control advocate Richard Lugar; Mexican-born Nobel prize-winning chemist Mario Molina; the late Sally Ride, the first U.S. female astronaut; the late civil rights activist Bayard Rustin; Cuban-born jazz superstar Arturo Sandoval; former college basketball coach Dean Smith; writer and women rights activist Gloria Steinem; minister and early civil rights campaigner C.T. Vivian, and Patricia Wald, the first female judge appointed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

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