The recipients are Nobel laureate and scientist Joshua Lederberg, musician B.B. King, writers David McCullough and William Safire, and former Negro Leagues baseball great John "Buck" O'Neil
President George Bush will present the medals at a White House ceremony and dinner on December 15th.
King, whose "60th Anniversary Tour" kicks off in January, launched his professional career in 1947, leaving the Mississippi Delta where he worked on a plantation and heading for Memphis. Last April, at his eponymous club in New York, King played his 10,000th concert.
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