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Steve Jobs one of Time's 20 'most influential Americans'

The late Apple co-founder's name appears on a list of "the trailblazers, visionaries and cultural ambassadors who defined a nation."

Steve Jobs has been named as one of the 20 most influential Americans of all time by Time magazine, placing his name with iconic historical greats such as George Washington, Alexander Graham Bell, and Albert Einstein.

The list, a chronological listing of "the trailblazers, visionaries and cultural ambassadors who defined a nation," refers to Jobs as the "high priest of the digital age." In a brief summary, Time recounts some of the career highs and lows of the late Apple co-founder.

Jobs was a visionary whose great genius was for design: he pushed and pushed to make the interface between computers and people elegant, simple and delightful. He always claimed his goal was to create products that were "insanely great." Mission accomplished.

While Jobs' biographical summary was written by the magazine's staff, as were most of the entries, one standout contributor was Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who penned a tribute to the Wright brothers. "The force of their obsession led them to develop, single-handedly, the technologies they needed to pursue their dream," he wrote about the pioneering aviators.

When Jobs died last October of pancreatic cancer, many of those who knew him best, including Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg and former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNeally, compared the late Apple CEO's tech contributions to those of inventor Thomas Edison, whose name is also on Time's list.

Time magazine featured Jobs on its cover a total of eight times, but was passed over for "Person of the Year" when the magazine opted to go with "The Protestor" as the most influential for 2011.

Who else made the list? Here's the entire membership:

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Sacagawea, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Abraham Lincoln
Sitting Bull
Alexander G. Bell
Thomas Edison
Henry Ford
Wright Brothers
Margaret Sanger
Albert Einstein
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Louis Armstrong
James Watson
Martin Luther King Jr.
Muhammad Ali
Steve Jobs