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Kennedy, Kemp Among Medal Of Freedom Winners

The White House has released the list of the Medal of Freedom honorees for 2009. It's a bipartisan list that also includes a number bold-faced names from the world of science, sports, and culture. They'll be honored at the White House on August 12.

"These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds," President Obama says in a White House statement. "Their tremendous accomplishments span fields from science to sports, from fine arts to foreign affairs. Yet they share one overarching trait: Each has been an agent of change. Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way.

Here's the list:

  • Nancy Goodman Brinker, Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Pedro Jose Greer, Jr., physician
  • Stephen Hawking, theoretically physicist
  • Jack Kemp, former HUD Secretary, Congressman and VP nominee
  • Sen. Edward Kennedy
  • Billie Jean King, tennis star
  • Rev. Joseph Lowery, civil rights leader
  • Joe Medicine Crow, Native American author
  • Harvey Milk, first openly-gay public elected official
  • Sandra Day O'Connor, former Supreme Court justice
  • Sidney Poitier, actor
  • Chita Rivera, entertainer
  • Janet Davison Rowley, geneticist
  • Desmond Tutu, former Anglican Archbishop
  • Muhammad Yunus, anti-poverty activist