Rev. C.T. Vivian (Getty Images)
(USA Today) -- President Obama will award the Medal of Freedom to predecessor Bill Clinton, television legend Oprah Winfrey and more than a dozen other notable lawmakers, entertainers and civil rights leaders.
Among them: women's rights pioneer Gloria Steinem, Watergate-era newspaper editor Ben Bradlee, baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, country music star Loretta Lynn and former University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith.
Sixteen honorees will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the nation's highest civilian honor -- from Obama at a ceremony to be scheduled later this year.
The list includes three posthumous winners: Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, a World War II veteran and the first Japanese-American elected to Congress; Sally Ride, the first woman in space; and civil and gay rights activist Bayard Rustin.
"The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours," Obama said in a statement. "This year's honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world."
This is the 50th anniversary of the executive order that President John F. Kennedy signed establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Other recipients this year:
-- Richard Lugar, former senator from Indiana who has worked with former senator Obama, among others, to reduce the world's nuclear stockpiles.
-- Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics.
-- Maria Molina, environmental scientist who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
-- Arturo Sandoval, Grammy-winning jazz musician who was born in Cuba and defected to the U.S
-- Patricia Wald, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and, eventually, the court's chief judge.
-- C.T. Vivian, civil rights leader and minister.