Television and film luminaries Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Cicely Tyson, and Lorne Michaels are among this year's recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.
The White House announced that this year, President Barack Obama had named 21 individuals, all of whom "have made 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."
In the official release, the White House noted that DeGeneres made TV history when her character on "Ellen" came out as a lesbian. Hanks, De Niro, and Tyson's bios referenced their many awards accolades.
Other honorees include basketball legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, singers Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen.
The awards will be presented at the White House on November 22.
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