Steve Jobs Awarded Posthumous Medal Of Freedom
Joseph F. Kovar
‘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,’ says the White House citation for Steve Jobs’ Medal of Freedom award.
Steve Jobs, who founded Apple and in the process paved the way for ubiquitous computing, communications, and entertainment, has been posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom award by U.S. President Joe Biden.
The White House Friday listed Jobs, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 56, as one of 17 Medal of Freedom awards for 2022.
The Medal of Freedom is the U.S.’s highest civilian honor, and is “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,” according to the White House.
Jobs in 2022 posthumously joins a list of leaders in the fields of social justice, education, health, education, military, and politics who have received the award.
He also joins a relatively small list of Medal of Freedom recipients from the field of technology. Past awardees of the honor include Microsoft’s Bill and Melinda Gates, computing programming pioneer Grace Hopper, software design and engineering pioneer Margaret Hamilton, and researcher and IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center alumni Richard Garwin.
Jobs’ fame all began in the Cupertino, Calif. garage of his parents’ home in 1976 where he and friend Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer. In 1984 Apple launched the Macintosh, a counter to IBM’s PCs, and revolutionized the tech industry with its user interface. Forced out of Apple a year later, Jobs built his own startup, NeXt, only to sell it to Apple in 1996 for $430 million. Once back, Jobs orchestrated a company shift that returned him to power, and he began turning Apple around to line up with his vision of the future.
The White House, in its citation for Jobs, wrote that Jobs was the co-founder, CEO, and chair of Apple and CEO of Pixar, and held a leading role at the Walt Disney Company.
“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,” his citation read.
In describing the Medal of Freedom, the White House wrote that President Biden defined America by a single word: possibilities.
“These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith. They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come,” the White House said.