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Steve Jobs to Receive Posthumous Medal of Freedom

Steve Jobs holding an iPhone.
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Steve Jobs)

President Joe Biden will present a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, in a ceremony on July 7, the White House announced today. Jobs will be one of 17 recipients. 

The Presidential Medal of Honor is  the United States' highest civilian honor, which the White House describes as being "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."

Jobs will receive the honor for his role as co-founder, CEO and chair of Apple Inc., as well as his time at Pixar and the Walt Disney Company. The White House's announcement reads that Jobs' "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."

Jobs co-founded in Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak, creating wildly popular computers with the Mac lineup; making an incredibly popular music player with the iPod; and changing the smartphone landscape with the iPhone. He passed away in 2011.

The award will be presented alongside 16 other recipients, including actor and director Denzel Washington; Olympic gymnast Simone Biles; former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; and Sandra Lindsay, a New York critical care nurse and the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside clinical trials. The full list can be found here.

Jobs is the latest in a line of tech innovators to receive the honor. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Bill Gates the Medal of Freedom alongside his former wife, Melinda French Gates, though that award focused primarily on their philanthropic efforts. Grace Hopper received a posthumous award that same year for her work on making coding languages "more practical and accessible" and her work programming the Harvard Mark I computer during the second World War.

Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • waltc3
    Dead men tell no tales, they say...;) It's been very nice not having to wade through the Reality Distortion Field for the last several years. Jobs gave us quite a lot of laughs along the way...he is missed for that, if for nothing else.
    Reply
  • giorgiog
    waltc3 said:
    It's been very nice not having to wade through the Reality Distortion Field for the last several years

    Has it? Apple's "launch event" infomercials feel so much worse than I remember the live SJ events being. Overproduced and underwhelming.
    Reply
  • waltc3
    giorgiog said:
    Has it? Apple's "launch event" infomercials feel so much worse than I remember the live SJ events being. Overproduced and underwhelming.

    Well, I was just trying to be polite, but I cannot argue with your assertion at all. I don't do Apple at all, as you may have guessed...;)
    Reply
  • derekullo
    Apple was known for their freedom.

    Not a more open and transparent software company out there.
    Reply
  • btmedic04
    The man has been dead for 11 years. Talk about the current administration being tone deaf and out of touch
    Reply