2015 Medal of Freedom Recipients

In a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, November 24th, President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom to 17 Americans for their contributions in a wide range of fields, from the sciences, arts and sports to politics and human rights.

“We are just reminded when we see these individuals on the stage what an incredible tapestry this country is, and what a great blessing to be in a nation where individuals as diverse, from wildly different backgrounds, can help to shape our dreams,” the President said.

The honorees were:

Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician
William Ruckelshaus, former EPA administrator under Nixon
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland
Rep. Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), D-New York
Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Indiana
Barbra Streisand, singer and actress
Itzhak Perlman, violinist
James Taylor, singer and songwriter
Gloria and Emilio Estefan, singers
Stephen Sondheim, Broadway composer and lyricist
Steven Spielberg, director
Yogi Berra (1925-2015), Major League Baseball catcher and coach
Willie Mays, Major League Baseball center fielder
Billy Frank Jr. (1931-2014), Native American environmental activist
Bonnie Carroll, founder of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
Minoru Yasui (1916-86), fought curfew laws for Japanese-Americans during World War II

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