The White House will host a long list of distinguished Americans, which includes another baseball great — Willie Mays — as well as musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan, retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, classical musician Itzhak Perlman, composer Stephen Sondheim, film director Steven Spielberg, and singers James Taylor and Barbra Streisand. Another posthumous medal will go to long-time U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, D-N.Y.
The 17 award winners will be awarded during a ceremony today, Nov. 24, the White House said.
Honorees, according to the White House:
* Yogi Berra, (posthumous) Berra was a baseball icon known for both his baseball skill and his colorful use of language — "it ain't over 'til it's over" He died in September. His family and supporters have long lobbied for a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
• Bonnie Carroll, "a life-long public servant who has devoted her life to caring for our military and veterans. After her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, died in an Army C-12 plane crash in 1992, Carroll founded the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), which provides comprehensive support to those impacted by the death of their military hero."
• Chisholm, who "made history in 1968 by becoming the first African-American woman elected to Congress, beginning the first of seven terms in the House of Representatives ... Chisholm went on to make history yet again, becoming the first major-party African-American female candidate to make a bid for the U.S. presidency when she ran for the Democratic nomination in 1972."
• Emilio Estefan, "a passionate and visionary music producer, entrepreneur, author, and songwriter who has won nineteen Grammy Awards and influenced a generation of artists."
• Gloria Estefan, "a singer, songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur who introduced Latin music to a global audience. The Cuban-American lead singer of the Miami Sound Machine has had chart topping hits such as 'Conga,' 'Rhythm is Gonna Get You,' and 'Anything for You.'"
• Billy Frank, Jr. (posthumous), "a tireless advocate for Indian treaty rights and environmental stewardship, whose activism paved the way for the 'Boldt decision,' which reaffirmed tribal co-management of salmon resources in the state of Washington."
• Lee Hamilton, "one of the most influential voices on international relations and American national security over the course of his more than 40 year career. From 1965 to 1999, he served Indiana in the United States House of Representatives."
• Katherine G. Johnson, "a pioneer in American space history. A NASA mathematician, Johnson's computations have influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shuttle program."
• Mays, "a professional baseball player, spending most of his 22 seasons as a center fielder for the New York and San Francisco Giants. Mays ended his career with 660 home runs, making him the fifth all-time record-holder."
• Mikulski, "a lifelong public servant, who has held elected office since 1971. She became the longest serving female senator in 2011, the longest serving woman in Congress in 2012, and the first female senator to chair the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2012."
• Perlman, "a treasured conductor and sought-after teacher. Among his many achievements are four Emmy Awards, 16 Grammy Awards, and the 2008 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award ... In addition to performing internationally and recording the classical music for which he is best known, Perlman has also played jazz, including an album made with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson."
• William Ruckelshaus, "a dedicated public servant who has worked tirelessly to protect public health and combat global challenges like climate change ... He also demonstrated his commitment to public service and integrity as Deputy Attorney General. During the Watergate crisis, Ruckelshaus and Attorney General Elliot Richardson chose to resign rather than fire the Watergate special prosecutor."
• Sondheim, "one of the country's most influential theater composers and lyricists. His work has helped define American theater with shows such as Company, West Side Story, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods."
• Spielberg, "an American film director, producer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Spielberg's films include blockbusters such as Jaws, Jurassic Park, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and the Indiana Jones series, as well as socially conscious works Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, and his newest film Bridge of Spies.
• Streisand, "one of our Nation's most gifted talents. Her body of work includes extraordinary singing, acting, directing, producing, songwriting, and she is one of the few performers to receive an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony."
• Taylor, a musician who "has touched people with his warm baritone voice and distinctive style of guitar-playing for more than 40 years, while setting a precedent to which countless young musicians have aspired."
* Minoru Yasui (posthumous), "a civil and human rights leader known for his continuous defense of the ideals of democracy embodied in our Constitution. A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, Yasui challenged the constitutionality of a military curfew order during World War II on the grounds of racial discrimination, and spent nine months in solitary confinement during the subsequent legal battle."
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