And the Medals of Freedom Go to...
Oprah, Clinton, Steinem among this year's recipients
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2013 3:14 AM CDT
In this May 30, 2013 file photo, Oprah Winfrey speaks during Harvard University's commencement ceremonies in Cambridge, Mass.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

(Newser) – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the executive order, signed by President Kennedy, establishing the highest US civilian honor. "The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours," President Obama said. "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." A list of this year's recipients, some posthumous, via USA Today and the AP:

  • Oprah Winfrey, TV host, actress, philanthropist
  • Bill Clinton, former president and current activist
  • Gloria Steinem, leading women's rights activist
  • Ben Bradlee, Washington Post editor during Watergate
  • Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs player
  • Loretta Lynn, country singer
  • Arturo Sandoval, musician and defector from Cuba
  • Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner in economics
  • Maria Molina, Nobel Prize winner in chemistry
  • CT Vivian, civil rights activist
  • Patricia Wald, pioneering federal judge
  • Dean Smith, former University of North Carolina basketball coach
  • Richard Lugar, former Indiana senator
  • Sally Ride, the first US woman in space
  • Daniel Inouye, former senator and Congress' first Japanese-American
  • Bayard Rustin, advocate for civil and gay rights