Architect Frank Gehry and artist and designer Maya Lin are among the 21 recipients President Obama has named for Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced today. The country’s highest civilian award, it recognizes “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
In a statement, President Obama said:
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor—it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.
Los Angeles-based Gehry is best known for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, among others. Lin is perhaps best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, which she designed when she was only 21 years old. Since then, she has created sculptures and other structures, including the Confluence Project in Oregon and Washington, installations at Storm King Art Center in New York, an outdoor sculpture at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and an 84-foot long silver cast of the Colorado River in Las Vegas. An avid environmentalist, Lin is currently working on a memorial to commemorate the planet’s loss of biodiversity.
Other honorees include basketball stars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan, sportscaster Vin Scully, actors Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, and Robert De Niro, actress Cicely Tyson, singer Diana Ross, educator Eduardo Padrón, programmer Grace Hopper, and polymath physicist Richard Garwin. The awards will be presented at the White House on November 22nd.
Via: The White House