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Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Bill Russel, Maya Angelou and civil rights leaders

President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to former President George H.W. Bush and 14 others, including poet Maya Angelou, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, investor Warren Buffett and basketball legend Bill Russell.

The medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor and is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions “to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”