The awards were announced today and will be presented in the late spring, the White House said in a statement.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, author Toni Morrison and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens also are among those being honored for “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.”
Other recipients include John Doar, a lawyer who played key roles in the civil rights era and Watergate investigation; epidemiologist William Foege; farmworker organizer Dolores Huerta; and Pat Summitt, the former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach and Alzheimer’s patient advocate whose award was announced earlier this month by the White House.
Posthumous honorees include Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low; Jan Karski, who gave eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to government officials; and Gordon Hirabayashi, who protested Japanese-American internment during World War II.
Obama, in a statement, said the honorees have “challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place.”
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