Report: Steve Jobs came close to knighthood

The U.K.'s Telegraph reports that Apple's white knight had the chance to officially add a new title to his name: sir. But in 2009, he apparently lanced his chances.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
If nothing else, waiters and store clerks will still refer to Steve Jobs as "sir." CBS Interactive

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was close to gaining knighthood in the U.K., only to see the opportunity derailed at the last minute, The Telegraph reported today.

Citing an unnamed, former Labor Party member of Parliament, the Telegraph said that Jobs had made his way through the final stages of knighthood in 2009. His chances of becoming knighted were nicked, however, when he turned down an invitation to speak before the Labor Party. Gordon Brown, who was the U.K.'s prime minister at the time, viewed the response unfavorably and personally blocked Jobs' path to knighthood, the Telegraph's source said.

According to the Parliament member, Jobs' name was brought up for knighthood for Apple's ability "to create stunning consumer products because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced." The Parliament member added that "no other CEO has consistently shown such commitment."

Jobs, who apparently knew of the knighthood proceedings in 2009, according to the Telegraph's source, wouldn't have been the first tech exec to be knighted. In 2005, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates earned honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.

Becoming a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is considered one of the highest honors bestowed upon an individual. Those who receive the rank can use the title "Sir" or "Dame."

But alas, Sir Steve Jobs just wasn't in the cards.

The U.K. Prime Minister's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.