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“Being gay was the best gift God gave me,” said Tim Cook, president of Apple.

Four years ago, Tim Cook turned out to be gay, thus becoming the first CEO of a large company to publicly assume homosexuality. In an interview with CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour, the executive was happy about the distinction and decision. Her sexual preference was already speculated before the announcement.

“I’m very proud of it. It was the greatest gift God gave me, “Cook said in the interview. The CEO stated that he was a reserved person, but that he considered himself selfish in not confirming this publicly, and that he could help others and the cause by opening up to his sexual orientation.

“I wanted to show young gay people that it’s possible to be like this and have important jobs,” he continued. Cook still said in shock that he was the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company (the world’s largest and most influential company) to take over, and that he was happy to see other executives following in his footsteps and announcing their sexual orientation.

He also said that this made him a better leader as well as making him stronger. “I learned what it is to be from a minority, and that has brought me a greater capacity to feel more empathy.”

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