A Teary Ellen DeGeneres Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom From President Obama
'Again and again, Ellen DeGeneres has shown us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place — so long as we just keep swimming.'
Ellen DeGeneres is arguably the most loved host on television, but her biggest fan might just be in the White House.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama, whose approval rating hit an all-time high in October, honored DeGeneres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her dedication to activism and continuous contribution to pop culture.
"Again and again, Ellen DeGeneres has shown us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place — so long as we just keep swimming," President Obama said before placing the medal around DeGeneres' neck.
Later in the day, the Finding Dory star tweeted a pic of wife and longtime partner Portia de Rossi and herself beaming, medal proudly displayed.
"@POTUS Barack Obama just awarded me the #MedalofFreedom," the 58-year-old wrote. "I hope it serves as an ID. I have no idea how I'm getting home."
When DeGeneres first arrived to the White House on Tuesday, she realized she'd forgotten her ID. She was denied entry until her team was able to produce a solution.
Other celebs honored included Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Melinda and Bill Gates, Robert Redford, Bruce Springsteen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Diana Ross, Vin Scully, and Cicely Tyson.
In a 2015 study conducted by Variety, DeGeneres was found to have influenced peoples' attitudes about gay rights more than any other figure in the world.
She has supported dozens of charities since rising to fame as both an actress and comedian, and regularly advocates for animals.