TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Twenty-one Americans will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday.

The honor is the nation’s highest civilian award, presented to individuals who have contributed to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor – it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better,” President Obama said in a statement.

The recipients, who will be honored with the award on Nov. 22 at the White House, include the following:

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor," says President Barack Obama, "it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Elouise Cobell (posthumous); Ellen DeGeneres; Robert De Niro; Richard Garwin; Bill and Melinda Gates; Frank Gehry; Margaret H. Hamilton; Tom Hanks; Grace Hopper (posthumous); Michael Jordan; Maya Lin; Lorne Michaels; Newt Minow; Eduardo Padrón; Robert Redford; Diana Ross; Vin Scully; Bruce Springsteen; and Cicely Tyson.

“From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way,” Obama said.