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Oprah Winfrey, Ernie Banks Receive Medal of Freedom

Barack Obama Presents Oprah Winfrey With Medal of Freedom

Oprah Winfrey was honored at the White House on Wednesday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in an East Room ceremony heavy in historical reference and doses of humor. “Early in Oprah Winfrey’s career her bosses told her she should change her name to Susie,” President Obama quipped in introducing Winfrey. “I have to pause here to say I got the same advice.” He then assured the crowd gathered that his advice was merely to change his name, although “not to Susie.”

Others in entertainment who were honored included Loretta Lynn and Arturo Sandoval, who joined former President Bill Clinton, former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), baseball legend Ernie Banks, civil rights icon C.T. Vivian, Ms. magazine founder Gloria Steinem and former Washington Post editor in chief Ben Bradlee among those receiving the medals.

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