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Obama Giving Medal of Freedom to SNL Creator, Ellen, DeNiro, Redford

President Obama talks with Ellen DeGeneres on her show Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — The creator of Saturday Night Live and the iconic voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom named by the White House today.

The award was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize meritorious civilian service during World War II, and President Kennedy later deemed it a peacetime award as well. The White House said said it will be “presented to individuals who have made 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” at a Nov. 22 awards ceremony.

“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,” Obama said in a statement accompanying the list of names. “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.”

The recipients are:

L.A. Lakers’ star and social justice advocate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres

Actor Robert DeNiro

National Medal of Science-winning polymath physicist Richard Garwin

Bill and Melinda Gates

Architect Frank Gehry

Mathematician and computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, who led the team that created the on-board flight software for NASA’s Apollo command modules and lunar modules

Actor Tom Hanks

NBA legend Michael Jordan

Vietnam Veterans Memorial artist Maya Lin

SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels

Kennedy-era Federal Communications Committee chairman and attorney Newt Minnow

President of Miami Dade College Eduardo Padrón

Actor Robert Redford

Singer Diana Ross

National Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Actress Cicely Tyson

Two recipients are receiving the award posthumously: Elouise Cobell, a Blackfeet Tribal community leader, and Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, aka “the first lady of software,” who was a leader of computer development from the 1940s through 1980s.