Teens Grateful to Old Apple Dude

In a recent poll of Americans ages 12 through 17, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was voted the well-known entrepreneur most admired from among a list of a half-dozen celebrity/businesspeople.

Youth organization Junior Achievement sponsored the survey of 1,000 U.S. tweens and teens, conducted in August.

Other choices on the list were daytime talk-show legend Oprah Winfrey, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, skateboarder Tony Hawk, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and fashion model Kimora Lee Simmons.

Junior Achievement says the list focused on celebrities who had started business enterprises themselves, as opposed to merely licensing their names and images to someone else’s products.

Here’s how the votes broke down:

Steve Jobs — 35%

Oprah — 25%

Tony Hawk — 16%

Mark Zuckerberg — 10%

The Olsen twins — 7%

Kimora Lee Simmons — 4%

According to Junior Achievement, 61% of those who selected Jobs did so because he “made a difference in/improved people’s lives or made the world a better place.” (I wonder how Mary-Kate and Ashley graded out in this category. They did spearhead the Trilby comeback; that should be worth something.) Another 33% chose jobs for his “success in multiple fields.” I’m guessing the other 6% who voted for Jobs think he invented the apple.

Still, it’s nice that the guy who bestowed upon the iPhone generation its indispensable toys is being given his props. But somehow I think the survey would have come out differently if Ashton Kutcher were on the list.