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Happy 59th birthday to Ellen DeGeneres!

Ellen DeGeneres is 59 years young today so let the party begin!

She really is a national treasure who is a class act and more beloved than ever.

Last November while presenting Ellen with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honor a person can receive in the US – President Barack Obama lauded her for inspiring the nation ‘one joke and one dance at a time.’

‘Ellen counters what too often divides us with the countless things that bind us together. Inspires us to be better,’ Obama said at The White House.

He then reminded people of just how unprecedented it was back in 1997 when Ellen came out on the cover of Time Magazine at the same time her character on her hit ABC sitcom did.

‘It’s easy now … to forget just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago. Just how important it was – not just to the LGBT community but for all of us to see somebody so full of kindness and light – somebody who we liked so much. Somebody who could be our neighbor or our colleague or our sister challenged our own assumptions and reminded us that we have more in common than we realize.’

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

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