The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest US honor that can be given to a civilian.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, has been awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden, the White House announced Friday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest US honor that can be given to a civilian, and it’s presented to “individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” the White House said in a statement.
Jobs founded Apple in April 1976, and it’s since become one of the biggest companies in the world. He helped launch many tech products that have gone on to become cultural touchstones, including the Mac, the iPod, and the iPhone. He died on October 5th, 2011.
Broadly popular in his lifetime, Jobs described himself as “disappointed” with President Obama in Walter Isaacson’s biography. “He’s having trouble leading because he’s reluctant to offend people or piss them off,” Jobs is quoted as saying. “That’s not a problem I ever had.”
In its statement, the White House praised Jobs’s creative approach to his various endeavors. “Steve Jobs was the co-founder, chief executive, and chair of Apple, Inc., CEO of Pixar and held a leading role at the Walt Disney Company,” the White House wrote. “His vision, imagination and creativity led to inventions that have, and continue to, change the way the world communicates, as well as transforming the computer, music, film and wireless industries.”
The award will be presented on July 7th. This year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients also include Simone Biles, Gabrielle Giffords, John McCain, Megan Rapinoe, and Denzel Washington. You can see the full list here.