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President Obama awards 21 people with Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON – The Presidential Medal of Freedom will be awarded to 21 recipients Tuesday at the White House.

Famous names from Hollywood as well as architects, scientists, musicians and athletes, including Bruce Springsteen, Bill Gates, Tom Hanks and Michael Jordan will be honored.

Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is also on the list. DeGeneres has been an outspoken supporter of President Barack Obama, including throwing a fundraiser for the President’s re-election in 2012.

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The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor and is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to “security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

“From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way,” Obama said in a statement.

Springsteen was also a big supporter of Obama and Hillary Clinton. The night before the presidential election, Springsteen appeared at a rally alongside Obama and Clinton in Philadelphia.

Complete list of honorees:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Elouise Cobell (posthumous)
Ellen DeGeneres
Robert De Niro
Richard Garwin
Bill and Melinda Gates
Frank Gehry
Margaret H. Hamilton
Tom Hanks
Grace Hopper (posthumous)
Michael Jordan
Maya Lin
Lorne Michaels
Newt Minow
Eduardo Padrón
Robert Redford
Diana Ross
Vin Scully
Bruce Springsteen
Cicely Tyson