The Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is given to people “who have made extraordinary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other major societal, public, or private undertakings,” is the highest civilian distinction bestowed by the United States.
President Biden has frequently stated that the word “possibilities” sums up America. These seventeen Americans represent the heart of the country—dogged work, tenacity, and faith—and show the strength of potential. They have bravely acted to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for future generations. They have dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us. They have overcame significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences.
Steve Jobs (d. 2011) served as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple, Inc., as well as the CEO of Pixar and a key position at the Walt Disney Company. His foresight, ingenuity, and imagination resulted in technologies that have and continue to revolutionize the computer, music, cinema, and wireless industries as well as the way the world communicates.
Along with Jobs, sixteen other individuals have received the presidential honor, including Simone Biles, Sister Simone Campbell, Julieta Garca, Gabrielle Giffords, Fred Gray, Father Alexander Karloutsos, Khizr Khan, Sandra Lindsay, John McCain (posthumous), Diane Nash, Megan Rapinoe, Alan Simpson, Richard Trumka (posthumous), Wilma Vaught, Denzel Washington, and Ral Yzaguirre. On Thursday, July 7, the awards will be given out at the White House.
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