Michael Jordan Among 21 Unique Individuals Honoured By Obama

Other | Wednesday 23rd November 2016 | Tom

Barack Obama hosted 21 special recipients of The Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday, America’s highest civilian honour. Recipients included Michael Jordan, Ellen Degeneres, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Diana Ross and Bill Gates amongst others.

Obama referring to Michael Jordan as ‘that guy from Space Jam’ joked that he was ‘more than just an internet meme’ at the star studded event in the White House. The President then went on to claim that the individuals had ‘made me who I am’.
Obama awards Diana Ross with her medal.

This will be the last time that Barack Obama awards the medals during his 8 year stint as President, admitting that he was ‘choked up’. The President then went on to call the 2016 group of recipients, a ‘particularly impressive class’.  

Obama has given more medals to citizens than any other president, and it should be noted that many of the recipients this year had been particularly critical of Donald Trump during the election campaign.

Although all of the recipients were deserving of their medals, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda were perhaps more of the nailed on recipients owing to the $40 billion they have donated to charity over the years.


Melinda and Bill Gates.
Obama struggles to put a medal on 7ft 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Forrest Gump star Tom Hanks recieves his medal.

The full list of recipients:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elouise Cobell, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Richard Garwin, Bill and Melinda Gates, Frank Gehry, Margaret H Hamilton, Tom Hanks, Grace Hopper, Michael Jordan, Maya Lin, Lorne Michaels, Newt Minow, Eduardo Padron, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Vin Scully, Bruce Springsteen, Cicely Tyson.