Fans know Ellen DeGeneres is one of the most respected celebs in Hollywood, so they’re curious what honors she’s received throughout her lengthy career. More specifically, viewers of her hit daytime talk show want to know what award she got from former President Barack Obama before he left office.
In November, just days after Donald Trump won the election, the talk show host was named a recipient the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony with Barack. “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” a White House press release said of the award at the time.
Ellen receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Barack commented, “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. 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.” Ellen was among 21 others who’ve received this special honor, including Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, and more.
Ellen, 59, paid a sweet tribute to Barack after his term was over. “Today is the last day that Barack Obama will be our president. I want to personally thank him for changing my life,” she said at the time. “I am a legally married woman because of him and so is my wife. His courage and compassion created equality for everyone. He moved us forward and made more happen in the past eight years than I ever dreamed possible.”
Barack returned the favor by giving the TV star a nod during his final press conference. “When I gave Ellen the Presidential Medal of Freedom, I meant what I said. Somebody that kind and likable projecting into living rooms around the country, that changed attitudes,” he said. “And that wasn’t easy to do for her, and that’s just one small example of what was happening in communities all across the country.”