Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers stirring speech of his own

Cook's human rights speech has some recalling Steve Jobs' famous Stanford commencement address

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered a strong speech focused on equal rights earlier this month in New York City while accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award from Auburn University, of which he is a 1982 alumnus of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering (he also got a dig in at the University of Alabama regarding Auburn's recent last second football win over the Crimson Tide).

He relayed a story about seeing a cross burning while growing up in Alabama in the 1960s, an "image permanently imprinted in my brain and it would change my life forever." Cook says he has seen and experienced discrimation throughout his life, and cited Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King as heroes of his for their roles in fighting for equal rights. He praised Apple for being a company that respects human dignity through its products and in the way it treats employees when he joined it, and says it's something he keeps central to his vision in running the company (as evidenced by changes Apple has made regarding conditions at some partners' manufacturing sites).

The talk had some observers recalling another fine speech delivered by an Apple CEO -- Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement speech from 2005 during which he urged grads to "do what you love." Cook pointed out that Apple supports legislation that "demands equality for all employees regardless of who they love."

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