Highest US civilian honour for Spielberg

LOS ANGELES: American film-maker Steven Spielberg, singers Barbra Streisand, Gloria Estefan, James Taylor and composer Stephen Sondheim are among the recipients of this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US.

It will be presented to the awardees at the White House by US President Barack Obama on November 24.

Other recipients include veteran activist Bonnie Carroll, music producer Emilio Estefan, former representative Lee Hamilton, Nasa mathematician Katherine G Johnson, baseball legend Willie Mays, Sen Barbara Mikulski (D-Md), conductor Itzhak Perlman, and former EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus, reports variety.com.

Posthumous honours will go to Yogi Berra, Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress; Indian treaty rights activist Billy Frank Jr, and human rights leader Minoru Yasui.

The list of recipients of each year’s Medal of Freedom usually includes a handful from entertainment. Actress Meryl Streep and musician Stevie Wonder were among the recipients in 2014.