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Obama awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to Michael Jordan, Ellen DeGeneres, others

08 December 2016
Obama awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to Michael Jordan, Ellen DeGeneres, others

Mr Obama has awarded some 114 Medals of Freedom in total, more than any previous President.

President Obama issued a statement paying tribute to DeGeneres for both her philanthropic work and professional work on her daytime talk show and the films "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory".

The President paused a moment for a word with Minow after placing the medal around his neck, the affection between them obvious, though Obama was the Hugger-in Chief throughout the ceremony.

He said her decision to come out as gay almost 20 years ago was a fearless step.

In the pic, DeGeneres is wearing a dapper red suit, waiting on a bench to get in so she can receive her honor.

Ellen DeGeneres paid a visit to the White House to receive an honor from President Barack Obama but was not allowed to go inside because she forgot her ID.

Ellen DeGeneres is among 21 the recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom in the White House.

"What an incredible burden that was to bear - to risk your career like that - people don't do that very often".

In the film world, Obama honoured Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford and Cicely Tyson.

The award is presented to individuals who've made contributions in the national interests of United States of America through their significant public or private endeavours.

Earlier this year, Bruce Springsteen spoke out against North Carolina's discriminatory anti-LGBTQ law, HB2.

The recipients included rock star Bruce Springsteen, Motown soul singer Diana Ross, actors Tom Hanks and Robert De Niro as well as basketball legends Micheal Jordon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award that can be granted by the president.