The president on Wednesday honored 16 do-gooders, big shots and champions, including Stephen Hawking (still alive despite Britain’s socialized medicine), Billie Jean King (G.O.A.T.?) and, oddly enough, the late former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, who was Bob Dole’s ’96 VP choice. Full list after the jump.
This generation’s Albert Einstein has been hospitalized for a chest infection and is said to be “very ill,” though a spokesman later said he was comfortable. The world-renowned physicist suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a degenerative disorder that few survive more than 10 years after diagnosis. Hawking, 67, first developed symptoms of the disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in the early 1960s.
Two astronomers took home the big prize for a satellite they created that backed the Big Bang theory of the universe’s origins. Stephen Hawking called their finding “the greatest discovery of the century, if not of all time.”