Jonathan Ive Knighthood: Apple's Design Chief Awarded Knighthood In United Kingdom

iPhone. iPad. iKnight.

Jonathan Ive, Apple's head of design, has been honored with a knighthood in the United Kingdom.

Per BBC News, Ive, a native of Chingford, was awarded with the title Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE).

The design guru worked closely with the late Steve Jobs and played a key role in the creation of such iconic Apple products as the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.

As the San Jose Mercury News reports, Ive released a statement responding to the knighthood announcement:

"I am keenly aware that I benefit from a wonderful tradition in the UK of designing and making,'' Ive, 44, said in a statement. "To be recognized with this honour is absolutely thrilling and I am both humbled and sincerely grateful. I discovered at an early age that all I've ever wanted to do is design. I feel enormously fortunate that I continue to be able to design and make products with a truly remarkable group of people here at Apple."

Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported on Ive's background:

Ive started out far from Apple Inc.'s Cupertino headquarters. He grew up outside London and studied design at Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University) in Newcastle, England. After finishing school, he co-founded a London-based design company called Tangerine. There, he designed a range of products including combs and power tools. It was through Tangerine that he first got to work with Apple.

In 1992, while Jobs was still in the midst of a 12-year exile from Apple, the company's design chief at the time, Robert Brunner, hired Ive as a senior designer. Thomas Meyerhoffer, who worked under Ive at Apple in the `90s, believes Ive came because he understood Apple was different from other computer companies.

Bloomberg Businessweek, profiling Ive in 2006, explained that he became head of Apple's design team in 1996. Upon Steve Jobs' 1997 return to Apple, the late CEO recognized Ive's incredible talents. Jobs, quoted by biographer Walter Isaacson, explained that he set up a structure at Apple in which "There's no one who can tell him [Ive] what to do." As AppleInsider reports, Jobs viewed Ive as his "spiritual partner" at Apple.

Ive's designs can be found on the desks and in the pockets of millions of people. In addition, the Museum of Modern Art in New York houses six classic products designed by Ive: the G4 Cube Computer, the G4 Cube Speakers, the Harman Kardon iSub, the iBook, the iMac G4 Desktop and the original iPod. His massive impact on the design of technology was recognized by FORTUNE magazine in 2010 when the publication named Ive the Smartest Designer in Tech.