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Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom Awards

Steven Spielberg, James Taylor, and Barbra Streisand are among the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, according to the White House.

The Obama administration announced this year’s recipients of the country’s highest civilian honor on Monday, unveiling a list of 17 individuals whose “meritorious contributions” to the interests of the United States, world peace, or other significant endeavors, set them apart over the years.

Spielberg was chosen for his USC Shoah Foundation’s dedication to “overcoming intolerance and bigotry through the use of visual history testimony,” according to a press release, which also notes the director to be “one of the most influential filmmakers in cinematic history.”

In addition to being “one of our nation’s most gifted talents,” Barbra Streisand will receive the award for her contributions to heart research and gender equality, while James Taylor will be recognized for having “touched people with his warm baritone voice” and guitar-playing for more than 40 years.

Other entertainment figures Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Itzhak Perlman, and Steven Sondheim will join former baseballers Yogi Berra (posthumous) and Willie Mays in receiving the accolade.

“I look forward to presenting these 17 distinguished Americans with our nation’s highest civilian honor,” said President Obama in an official statement. “From public servants who helped us meet defining challenges of our time to artists who expanded our imaginations, from leaders who have made our union more perfect to athletes who have inspired millions of fans, these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.”

The honorees will receive their awards at the White House on November 24th.

A full list of 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients can be found here.

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