Barack Obama, the US President would confer the Presidential Medal of Freedom on former US President, Bill Clinton and talk show queen, Oprah Winfrey. It is the highest civilian honour of America. The announcement of the Freedom Honorees was done on 8 August 2013.
Clinton and Winfrey are among the 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for the year 2013. The award was created by John F Kennedy and this year it marks its 50th Anniversary of the executive order signed by him. Since the day of its formation, the Presidential medal has been awarded to more than 500 exceptional individuals from different sections of society.
Other recipients of the award include
• Ernie Banks a baseball players
• Ben Bradlee, he as a newsmen of his generation
• Daniel Kahneman a scholar of psychology
• Richard Lugar a former Senator
• Loretta Lynn legend of country music
• Patricia Wald, an appellate judge of her generation
• Mario Molina, a visionary chemist and environmental scientist
• Cordy Tindell C T Vivian, a distinguished minister, author, and organiser
• Arturo Sandoval, celebrated jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer
• Dean Smith, head coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team between 1961 to 1997
• Gloria Steinem, a renowned writer and activist for women's equality
Three were honoured posthumously and they are Sally Ride (first American astronaut to travel to space), Daniel Inouye (a public servant) and Bayard Rustin (an activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all).
About Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with the comparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States. Individuals, who have made some meritorious contribution for the national security and national interest of US, Cultural/Public/Private endeavors and World Peace are recognized by this award. Being a civilian award, it can be awarded to a military person and can be worn along with the uniform. It can also awarded even to non-US residents.
It was established in 1963 and replaced the earlier Medal of Freedom that was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1945.
About Bill Clinton
Mr Clinton, was the 42nd President of US and held the presidency from 1993 to 2001 and has since focused on his philanthropic foundation. He was the third youngest President of US.
About Oprah Winfrey
Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. She is often seen topping lists of most powerful celebrities. She is famous worldwide for her multi-award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show which was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011.
In the year 2012, recipient of the award were John Glenn an astronaut, Bob Dylan and Shiman Peres (President of Israel).