Cook was named in February as the recipient of the award in the Free Speech category, which recognized the Apple CEO for having a "profound impact" on communication and for using his position to "take a public stand" on issues like racial equality, privacy, the environment, LGBT rights, and more.
According to AppleInsider, Cook used his acceptance speech to highlight the challenges involved in ensuring First Amendment rights remain a fundamental cornerstone in an increasingly technology-driven world.
"We know that these freedoms require protection," Cook said of First Amendment rights. "Not just the forms of speech that entertain us, but the ones that challenge us. The ones that unnerve and even displease us. They're the ones that need protection the most. It's no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the First Amendment. They are the foundation to so many of our rights."Other winners on the night included U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who received an Arts and Entertainment Award shared with Hatch Beauty chairman Christie Hefner.
"This is a responsibility that Apple takes very seriously," Cook said. "First we defend, we work to defend these freedoms by enabling people around the world to speak up. And second, we do it by speaking up ourselves. Because companies can, and should have values."
The Newseum aims to explain and defend free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment through a range of interactive museum exhibits. Its annual awards ceremony is used to celebrate positive work achieved by individuals across the occupational spectrum, including government, civil rights, and journalism.
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