Also honored by President Obama are Bruce Springsteen, architect Frank Gehry and NBA great Michael Jordan.
Bill and Melinda Gates are among 21 Americans President Obama named as recipients of the nation’s highest civilian award Wednesday.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, which will be presented at the White House on Nov. 22., celebrates individuals who “have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way,” according to a statement.
Among the recipients are music icon (and Democratic rally headliner) Bruce Springsteen and architect Frank Gehry.
The Gateses will be honored for their philanthropic foundation, which has provided more than $36 billion in grants since its inception.
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Other honorees include artist Maya Lin; attorney Newt Minow; physicist Richard Garwin; software engineer Margaret Hamilton; and Eduardo Padron, President of Miami Dade College.
The entertainment honorees are actors Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford and Cicely Tyson; comedian Ellen DeGeneres; singer Diana Ross; and “Saturday Night Light Live” creator and producer Lorne Michaels.
The sports honorees include NBA greats Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.
Medals will also be posthumously awarded to Native American community leader Elouise Cobell, and trailblazing computer programmer “Amazing” Grace Hopper.