January 24, 2012

Obama to honor wife of late Apple visionary’s, Jobs

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama will honor the life of Steve Jobs by welcoming the late Apple visionary’s wife Laurene Powell Jobs to his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Powell Jobs will watch Obama’s showpiece annual address at 9 pm (0100 GMT) from First Lady Michelle Obama’s box in the House of Representatives, the White House said.

Steve Jobs, who pioneered Apple computers, iPod mp3 players and the iconic iPad tablet computer, died aged 56 in October after a long fight against cancer.

His wife will be joined in Michelle Obama’s box by Debbie Bosanek, the secretary of Warren Buffett, to highlight the billionaire investor’s complaint that his staff pay taxes at a higher rate than he does despite his vast wealth.

Mark Kelly, the shuttle astronaut husband of wounded lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords, who has announced she will step down to concentrate on her recovery, will also be a guest of the first lady.

Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, was shot by a deranged gunman last year in an assassination attempt in which six people, including a nine-year-old girl were killed.

The tradition of welcoming national heroes to the State of the Union address dates back to former president Ronald Reagan, who honored Lenny Skutnik after he dived into an icy river to save a woman passenger of an airliner which crashed shortly after takeoff from Washington’s National Airport in 1982.