President Obama to Honor Maya Angelou and Bill Russell With the Medal of Freedom

Rep. John Lewis, former President George H.W. Bush, Warren Buffett and Yo-Yo Ma are also among the honorees.

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Medal of Freedom recipient honoree Dr. Maya Angelou

President Barack Obama will present the Medal of Freedom to 15 honorees early next year, the White House has announced. Honorees include poet Dr. Maya Angelou; basketball legend Bill Russell; former president George H.W. Bush; investor Warren Buffet; Hall of Famer Stan "The Man" Musial; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez; American artist Jasper Johns; Holocaust survivor and activist Gerda Weismann Klein; Dr. Tom Little, an optometrist murdered by the Taliban; Jean Kennedy Smith, former ambassador to Ireland; John Sweeney, AFL-CIO president from 1995 to 2009; and John H. Adams, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor. The medal is presented to people who have made notable contributions to U.S. interests, from cultural achievements to security matters. This diverse crop of recipients has certainly done that.

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