Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand to be awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom |


Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand to be awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images file)

On Monday, President Obama named this year’s recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Among the 17 Americans being recognized for their “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors” were Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Stephen Sondheim and more artists from the entertainment industry.

Spielberg, whose Cold War drama Bridge of Spies is in theaters now, will receive the award, as will Streisand and Sondheim, the latter of whom was named as a recipient last year, but could not attend the ceremony, and will receive the honor this year instead.

Musicians James Taylor, Itzhak Perlman, Emilio Estefan, and Gloria Estefan are also among the recipients the President named, as well as baseball players Willie Mays and Yogi Berra, who passed away this year and will be posthumously honored.

The remaining eight recipients are public servants Bonnie Carroll, Lee Hamilton, Barbara Mikulski, William Ruckelshaus, and Shirley Chisolm, who is receiving the award posthumously; Billy Frank, Jr., an advocate for Indian treaty rights and environmental stewardship; NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson; and Minoru Yasui, a civil and human rights leader and posthumous honoree.

“From public servants who helped us meet defining challenges of our time to artists who have expanded our imaginations, from leaders who have made our union more perfect to athletes who have inspired millions of fans,” President Obama said, “these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.”

The Presidential Medial of Freedom award ceremony will take place at the White House on Nov. 24. Head to the White House website to read more about each of the recipients.