Model Citizens: Notable Medal of Freedom Recipients

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  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom sidney poitier
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom maya angelou
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom count basie
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom duke ellington
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom bb king
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom leontyne price
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom aretha franklin
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom ella fitzgerald
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom muhammad ali
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom jesse owens
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom jackie robinson
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom jesse jackson
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom colin powell
  • 052512 national presidential medal freedom toni morrison

Count Basie

The jazz pianist and bandleader carved a name for himself in the 1920s and '30s with his signature “jumping” swing beat, best observed in his hit "One O'Clock Jump.” Basie, who died at the age of 79 on April 26, 1984, was presented the award posthumously in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan.

(Photo: Derek Berwin/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

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