Oprah Winfrey Among Recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom

Oprah Winfrey & Quincy Jones
Kevin Kane/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey is among the recipients of this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, joining a group that includes former President Bill Clinton, jazz musician Arturo Sandoval and country singer Loretta Lynn.

The Medal of Freedom, established by President John F. Kennedy, is the highest civilian honor.

The White House also announced 12 other recipients, including baseball great Ernie Banks, former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, psychologist Daniel Kahneman, former senator Richard Lugar, chemist Mario Molina, basketball coach Dean Smith, women’s activist Gloria Steinem, civil rights organizer C.T. Vivian and judge Patricia Wald. Astronaut Sally Ride, senator Daniel Inouye and civil rights activist Bayard Rustin were named posthumous recipients.

Winfrey was a key supporter of Barack Obama’s in his first campaign for president. Her endorsement was followed by a series of campaign appearances and fundraisers.