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John Dingell, Stevie Wonder among Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees

Nov 11, 2014

Two Michigan icons are among those being singled out for a special honor.

Rep. John Dingell
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Longtime congressman John Dingell and music legend Stevie Wonder don’t have a lot in common.  But they are being recognized as national treasures.

The White House announced Monday Dingell and Wonder are among the latest recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

The White House press office says Dingell is being honored for his lifetime of public service:

Mr. Dingell has fought for landmark pieces of legislation over the past six decades, from civil rights legislation in the 1960s, to legislation protecting our environment in the 1970s, to his persistent, determined fight for health care throughout his career, from Medicare to the Affordable Care Act. 

Dingell is stepping down after serving more than half a century representing Michigan in Washington.  

“There are few words that could accurately describe my thoughts and feelings in receiving this wonderful honor,” John Dingell said in a written statement.     

The White House says Stevie Wonder is being honored for his mastery of a range of musical styles:

Stevie Wonder is one of the world’s most gifted singer-songwriters.  Mr. Wonder has created a sound entirely his own, mixing rhythm and blues with genres ranging from rock and roll to reggae.

Wonder is already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, multi-Grammy award winner and a Kennedy Center honoree.    

Other Medal of Freedom honorees include actress Meryl Streep, composer Steven Sondheim and journalist Tom Brokaw. 

The Presidential Medals of Freedom will be handed out in ceremonies at the White House on November 24.