LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Retired Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully and former Los Angeles Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were among 21 recipients announced to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor — it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better,” President Barack Obama said. “From scientists, philanthropists and public servants to activists, athletes and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”
According to the White House, the medals recognize people who 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.”
The medals will be presented Nov. 22 at the White House.
In addition to Scully and Abdul-Jabbar, the list of recipients released Wednesday, Nov. 16, includes comedian/talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, architect Frank Gehry, singers Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen and actors Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Cicely Tyson and Robert Redford.
“Saturday Night Live” creator/producer Lorne Michaels also made the list, along with former NBA standout Michael Jordan.