President Barack Obama awarded the nation's highest civilian honor to 21 groundbreaking actors, musicians, athletes and innovators who inspired him over the years and "helped make me who I am."
"Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way, in ways that they probably couldn't imagine," Obama said in concluding an hour-long ceremony Tuesday in the White House East Room.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom recognizes especially meritorious contributions to the national interests of the United States, its security and its culture. Obama called the 2016 group a "particularly impressive class."
In the film world, Obama honored Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford and Cicely Tyson.
Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two of the greatest basketball players ever, were also among the honorees. Obama noted how Jordan's name is synonymous with excellence.