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Obama names Oprah to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Obama names Oprah to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

By John “Hennry” Harris

     President Obama named Oprah Winfrey, along with 15 other honorees, as recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor.

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s establishment of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to the cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Since the inaugural class of 31 recipients, more than 500 exceptionally noted individuals from all corners of society have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is to be presented at the White House later this year.

    “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to pre-sent them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.” 

    Oprah Winfrey is set to be honored as one of the world’s most successful broadcast journalists best known for The Oprah Winfrey Show, which became the highest rated talk show in America for 25 years.

The other 15 recipients to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom include:

    Ernie Banks – Known as one of the greatest baseball players of all time, played 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs and was a first ballot Baseball Hall of Fame inductee in 1977.

    Ben Bradlee – As executive editor of The Washington Post, Mr. Bradlee oversaw coverage of the Watergate scandal and successfully challenged the Federal Government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers.

    Bill Clinton – Elected the 42nd President of the United States and following his second term, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment.

    Daniel Inouye (post-humous) – A lifetime public servant, Congressman who fought in World War II and also received the Medal of Honor as part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

  Daniel Kahneman – A pioneering scholar of psychology and alongside Amos Tversky, he applied cognitive psychology to economic analysis, laying the foundation for new field of research.

    Richard Lugar – Richard Lugar is best known for his bipartisan leadership and decades long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.

    Loretta Lynn – Rural Kentucky country music legend that broke barriers in an a male dominated industry.

    Mario Molina – A visionary chemist and environmental scientist earning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering how chloroflurocarbons deplete the ozone layer.

    Sally Ride (posthumous) – First American female astronaut to travel to space.

    Bayard Rustin (posthumous) – Former advisor to the Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity and equality for all.

    Arturo Sandoval – A celebrated jazz trumpeter, pianist, and composer who gained international acclaim.

    Dean Smith – Legendary former head coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team from 1961-1997, winning two National Championships and retired as the winningest men’s college basketball coach in history graduating 96 percent of his players.

    Gloria Steinem – A renowned writer and activist for women’s equality.

    Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian – A distinguished minister, author, and organizer who participated in Freedom Rides and sit-ins across the country.

    Paricia Wald – One of the most respected appellate judges of her generation.

Congratulations to these outstanding Americans!!


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