Ali among Medal of Freedom honorees

Nov. 3, 2005 at 9:36 PM
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MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Boxing legend Muhammad Ali leads a list of 14 people from entertainment, sports and government who will be given the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Ali remains one of the most recognized athletes in the world. After winning the Olympic Gold Medal in 1960, he won the world heavyweight boxing title three times and defended those titles a total of 19 times.

He is joined by golfer Jack Nicklaus and baseball's Frank Robinson as sports icons to receive a medal this year.

Outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers will also be honored as will former U.S. Rep. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, D-Miss.

Four people from the world of entertainment will receive medals -- actress Carol Burnett; singer Aretha Franklin; actor Andy Griffith and radio personality Paul Harvey.

Bush is also to give medals to historian Robert Conquest; Paul Rusesabagina, who protected people during the 1994 Rwandan genocide; and Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, who developed software code for the Internet.

The medals have been given since 1963 to people who made "especially meritorious contribution" to the security of the country, world peace and cultural endeavors. President Bush is to present the medals in ceremonies next Wednesday at the White House.

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