Photos: Oprah among recipients of Medal of Freedom

Photos: Oprah among recipients of Medal of Freedom

Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: U.S. President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Oprah Winfrey as former U.S. President Bill Clinton claps in the East Room at the White House on November 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made 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. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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KMOV.com

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is bestowing the Presidential Medal of Freedom on more than a dozen prominent Americans 50 years after the death of the award’s founder, President John F. Kennedy.

Obama is honoring former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and leaders in sports, science and public service in a White House ceremony on Wednesday. Obama says the recipients remind Americans of their own potential.

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, who played for the Chicago Cubs, is also being honored.

Obama says the late Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, showed America’s daughters, including his own, that they can set their sights high.

The ceremony opens a day of tributes to Kennedy ahead of the 50th anniversary of his assassination Friday. Kennedy established the modern version of the medal.

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