Spielberg, Streisand, Willie Mays among presidential medal recipients

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Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom

The award is the highest civilian honor of the United States

CNN  — 

Director Steven Spielberg, entertainer Barbra Streisand, baseball legend Willie Mays and composer Stephen Sondheim are among 17 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, the White House announced Monday.

“I look forward to presenting these 17 distinguished Americans with our nation’s highest civilian honor,” President Obama said in a statement. “These men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.”

The list includes individuals from entertainment, sports, politics and science. A handful, including New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Native American environmentalist Billy Frank Jr. and civil rights leader Minoru Yasui, are being given posthumous honors.

Sondheim was given the honor last year but wasn’t able to attend the ceremony.

Others receiving the honor are veterans organization founder Bonnie Carroll, pioneering Latino musicians Emilio and Gloria Estefan, former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, violinist Itzhak Perlman, former EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus and singer-songwriter James Taylor.

Last year’s honorees included news anchor Tom Brokaw, actress Meryl Streep and musician Stevie Wonder.

The awards will be presented at the White House on November 24.