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On July 1, 2022, President Joe Biden announced the names of 17 individuals who will receive the United States’ highest civilian honor: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The award, established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, has been given to more than 647 individual awardees in the last 69 years.
For those unfamiliar with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it essentially recognizes people who have made exemplary contributions to the security and interests of the United States. Past recipients have included those who made maintained world peace or contributed to society by means of public or private endeavors. While touted as a civilian award, there have also been a few instances of the award going to people in the armed forces.
The 17 people selected for the nation’s highest civilian honor in 2022 will receive the medals at a ceremony at the White House on July 7, 2022, a press statement from the White House confirmed. Three recipients of the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom will receive the awards posthumously. These individuals include attorney and organized labor leader Richard Trumka, veteran and Senator John McCain, and Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away in 2011.
A recognition 11 years too late?
Jobs, who co-founded the technology company Apple Inc., was arguably one of the most influential figures in the world of technology. Dubbed a visionary, he was credited with being the driving force behind several products and ideas that have shaped the modern world. It was under Jobs’ leadership that Apple came up with revolutionary products like the iPod, Mac computers, and perhaps, his single most important contribution to the world of consumer technology; the almighty iPhone.
After Jobs debuted the first-generation iPhone in 2007, he pretty much set the tone for the evolution of the modern smartphone. Even in 2022, more than a decade after his passing, the modern smartphone continues to base themselves on the blueprint and form factor that Jobs created. Needless to say, he has often been hailed as the harbinger of the smartphone revolution — one that directly and indirectly transformed the lives of millions of people across the globe.
When Steve Jobs is posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 7, for many of his fans and followers, it will serve as a moment of reflection for such an impactful figure in technological history.