Ellen DeGeneres will be one of 21 Americans to be presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at The White House later this month. The medal is the highest civilian honor a person can receive in the U.S.
She is the only gay person in a distinguished group that also includes Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Elouise Cobell, Robert De Niro, Richard Garwin, Bill and Melinda Gates, Frank Gehry, Margaret H. Hamilton, Tom Hanks, Grace Hopper, Michael Jordan, Maya Lin, Lorne Michaels, Newt Minow, Eduardo Padrón, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Vin Scully, Bruce Springsteen, and Cicely Tyson.
It is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor, it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better," declared President Obama.