Isaacson Shares a Touching Preview of the Steve Jobs Biography

timeTime Magazine has cancelled its previously scheduled print run this week in order to put together a retrospective issue on Steve Jobs. In it, Walter Isaacson -- Steve Jobs' biographer -- writes a preview of what's to come, via Fortune.

In the early summer of 2004, I got a phone call from him. He had been scattershot friendly to me over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of Time or featured on CNN, places where I'd worked. But now that I was no longer at either of those places, I hadn't heard from him much. We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him to speak at our summer campus in Colorado. He'd be happy to come, he said, but not to be onstage. He wanted, instead, to take a walk so we could talk.

That seemed a bit odd. I didn't yet know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation. It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him. I had recently published one on Benjamin Franklin and was writing one about Albert Einstein, and my initial reaction was to wonder, half jokingly, whether he saw himself as the natural successor in that sequence. Because I assumed that he was still in the middle of an oscillating career that had many more ups and downs left, I demurred. Not now, I said. Maybe in a decade or two, when you retire.

But I later realized that he had called me just before he was going to be operated on for cancer for the first time. As I watched him battle that disease, with an awesome intensity combined with an astonishing emotional romanticism, I came to find him deeply compelling, and I realized how much his personality was ingrained in the products he created. His passions, demons, desires, artistry, devilry and obsession for control were integrally connected to his approach to business, so I decided to try to write his tale as a case study in creativity.

The release date of the book has been moved up twice, and is now October 24th. After Jobs resigned as CEO in August, he knew the end was near. The WSJ reports that Isaacson's last interview was roughly four weeks ago, and "Jobs indicated at that time that he knew he was going to die soon."

9to5Mac has another touching excerpt from Isaacson's Time Magazine essay, which will hit newsstands tomorrow, that reiterates the love Steve Jobs had for his family, especially his children:

A few weeks ago, I visited Jobs for the last time in his Palo Alto, Calif., home. He had moved to a downstairs bedroom because he was too weak to go up and down stairs. He was curled up in some pain, but his mind was still sharp and his humor vibrant. We talked about his childhood, and he gave me some pictures of his father and family to use in my biography. As a writer, I was used to being detached, but I was hit by a wave of sadness as I tried to say goodbye. In order to mask my emotion, I asked the one question that was still puzzling me: Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was usually so private? “I wanted my kids to know me,” he said. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson will be released on October 24th. It is available via preorder from Amazon/Kindle, the iBookstore, and elsewhere.

Top Rated Comments

Peace Avatar
125 months ago
Like I said yesterday. This man is the epitomy of class.

"I wanted my kids to know me," he said. "I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did."
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
impulse462 Avatar
125 months ago
Usually the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is a death sentence. Steve still introduced the iPhone and iPad after this diagnosis.

Simply Amazing.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
r2shyyou Avatar
125 months ago
Sad...

I am sad that he has passed away. He was a great, inspiring visionary.

I am further saddened to read that he, in part, wanted to do the book in order for his children to get to know him, to get to know a person in a way that all of us who read this book will get to know. By this I mean that we will know him almost just as well as they know him, if what he says is true.

My wife and I had a son a several months ago and I can only hope that he will get to know me better than anyone else in this world that I do not already call family.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Somtaaw Avatar
125 months ago
I'm definitely buying it...
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ryth Avatar
125 months ago
Myself and a co-worker thought that it would be fitting if we could somehow organize the night that Steve Jobs is laid to rest where everyone goes outside at a certain set time across the U.S. when it is dark and we put our iPhones, iPods, iPads and point them to the sky so they display a glowing and bright white Apple logo on their screens (sample attached)..or even just the trademark white glowing screen of Apple devices.

We would need obviously someone to create a simple iOS application for this that displays a illuminated/glowing Apple Logo on a black background on the screens of these iOS devices and it would be a free download so everyone could participate it so we can pull this off.

I think this would be a fitting tribute to Steve. And I think it would be stunning if we saw the imagery of this from above from the various cities.

:apple:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saladbowl Avatar
125 months ago
wow, that part about his kids - I get that so well... I'd do the same..
I dont think he died a sad man. He had his things in order and knew about his legacy and impact. He made himself immortal... he will be a part of the world's history that children will learn of in decades from now. I feel sad, but thats an egoistic feeling. I dont think we have to feel sad for Steve. He suqeezed more out of that one lifetime than I would fit into 4 probably... so, he had a great life, did what he loved, had a family he loved and was admired by many...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple watch ecg

Apple Watch Likely to Gain Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Blood Alcohol Monitoring

Monday May 3, 2021 4:03 am PDT by
The Apple Watch may gain the ability to measure blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood alcohol levels, according to newly-revealed information about one of Apple's chosen business partners. Apple has been revealed to be the largest customer of the British electronics start-up Rockley Photonics, The Telegraph reports. Rockley Photonics has developed non-invasive optical sensors for...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
facebook instargram updated att prompt 1

Facebook and Instagram Ask Users to Enable App Tracking in Order to Keep Services 'Free of Charge'

Sunday May 2, 2021 1:22 pm PDT by
As a way to convince users to enable tracking across other apps and websites, Facebook is deploying the tactic of telling users that they must enable tracking as part of the App Tracking Transparency framework in iOS 14.5 if they want to help keep Facebook and Instagram "free of charge." App Tracking Transparency or ATT is the newest privacy feature to come to iPhone and iPad devices as part ...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1

Mini-LED Display Production Improving for Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Later This Year

Monday May 3, 2021 8:33 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMT, a key vendor involved in the production of mini-LED displays in the newly announced 12.9-inch iPad Pro, has been able to address technical challenges for the production of mini-LED displays to be used in the upcoming 14 and 16-inch redesigned MacBook Pro models. As reported by DigiTimes, TSMT had initially been facing production constraints with the circuit board and...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
Foldable iPhone 2023 Feature Yellow

Kuo: Apple to Launch 8-Inch Foldable iPhone in 2023

Sunday May 2, 2021 8:43 pm PDT by
Apple is working to launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Based on our latest industry survey, we forecast that Apple will likely launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, with SDC as the exclusive display supplier and Samsung Foundry...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.5.1 With Fixes for App Tracking Transparency Bug, WebKit Security Issues

Monday May 3, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.5.1, minor security updates that come just a week after the release of the iOS 14.5 update. There is also a companion watchOS 7.4.1 update for Apple Watch and an iOS 12.5.3 update for older iPhone and iPad devices that don't support Apple's latest operating system versions. According to Apple's release notes, the update fixes a bug with App Tracking...
airtags teardown tile mat galaxy smarttag

iFixit Shares AirTag Teardown Revealing 'Impressively Compact' Design Compared to Tile Mate and Galaxy SmartTag

Sunday May 2, 2021 4:54 am PDT by
iFixit has shared the first of its two-part series in tearing down Apple's AirTag item tracker, revealing that Apple had to make impressive design decisions to achieve its small design, including rethinking the speaker layout. For comparison, iFixit compared Apple's AirTag to the Tile Mate and the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag. Compared to the competition, AirTag is the smallest in size, with the...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Brydge's 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Keyboard With Trackpad

Tuesday May 4, 2021 11:48 am PDT by
Brydge has been making keyboards for Apple's iPads for years now, and the newest model, the Brydge 12.9 MAX+, is compatible with the third, fourth, and fifth-generation iPad Pro models, so it works even with the new mini-LED iPad Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we checked out the new Brydge 12.9 MAX+ to see if it's a viable...