Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has posthumously been awarded the United States’ highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Jobs, who died in 2011 following a long illness, is one of 17 individuals who’ll receive the honour from U.S. president Joe Biden.

A statement from the White House on Friday honoured the recipients that “embody the soul of the nation” and heralded Jobs for inventing products that have changed the way the world communicates.

The White House said: “Steve Jobs (d. 2011) was the co-founder, chief executive, and chair of Apple, Inc., 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.”

The awards will be presented at the White House on July 7 and it’s possible members of the Jobs family will be on hand to receive it. The awards are pretty much on a par with the knighthoods and damehoods often awarded in the UK to notable individuals who’ve provided service to their industry, or done great work to help the less fortunate through campaigning and charity work.

Jobs is joined on the roll of honour by U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, USWNT soccer player Megan Rapinoe, the late John McCain (who was in the US navy in Vietnam before a career in politics), and the actor Denzel Washington.

Jobs’ legendary contributions at Apple, after his return to the company in 1997, set the company on the path to the juggernaut it has become today. The advent of the iMac G3, iBook, and iPod, followed by the iPhone and iPad, made Apple the biggest tech company in the world, before his untimely passing aged 56.

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