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They will be among 19 recipients of the medal, which is the nation’s highest civilian honor. President Barack Obama will present the awards in a ceremony Nov. 24 at the White House.
Obama said in a statement, “From activists who fought for change to artists who explored the furthest reaches of our imagination; from scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world.”
Recent recipients of the medal include Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton and Bob Dylan. The honor also has been bestowed on such individuals as Walt Disney and Samuel Goldwyn, James Stewart and Sidney Poitier, Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin and John Steinbeck.
This year, the honoress include dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey (who will be awarded posthumously), Chilean author Isabel Allende, activist and Golden Globe-winning actress Marlo Thomas and golfer Charles Sifford, who worked to desegregate the PGA.
Read the full list at the White House’s blog.
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