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Steve Jobs agreed to biography so his children could know him better

post #1 of 44
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Just a few weeks before his death, Steve Jobs revealed in an interview that he agreed to an authorized biography on his life so that his children could know why he wasn't always there for them.

Jobs revealed his motivation in a conversation with Walter Isaacson, the author of his biography, weeks ago at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. At the time, according to Reuters, Jobs was in pain and too weak to climb stairs.

"I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did," Jobs said of his children to Isaacson.

The details of Isaacson's last visit with Jobs are available in the Oct. 17 issue of Time magazine. The author revealed that Jobs was curled up and in pain in a downstairs bedroom, too weak to climb stairs, though his mind was said to be "still sharp and his humor vibrant."

Isaacson visited with Jobs one last time to put the finishing touches on his authorized biography of Jobs, which will be published in just a matter of weeks, on Oct. 24. Publisher Simon & Schuster announced on Thursday that it had moved up the publication from its originally scheduled November debut in the wake of the Apple co-founder's passing.



Isaacson is a Pulitzer Prize nominee who has previously written biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. The book, entitled "Steve Jobs, will be available in a hardcover edition, as well as digitally through Amazon Kindle and Apple's iBooks.

Jobs placed no restrictions on what Isaacson could write, and waived the right to read it before it was published. The publisher has promised readers a never-before-seen glimpse of Jobs, featuring interviews with "foes, former girlfriends, and colleagues he had once fired or infuriated."

"Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair," the official description reads. "But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple's hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values."
post #2 of 44
That's sad.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 44
Now that's a legacy I wouldn't want to hand down...
post #4 of 44
I am sure this will be a good read. No two humans are alike, and there are no "simple" personalities. Every one of us is a complex individual, some more complex than others.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did," Jobs said of his children to Isaacson.


I'm glad he knew what is most important in this world.
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That's sad.

What? That he did it for his kids? Or that he felt he had to? I don't get what you are implying I guess because I don't find it sad at all. By putting it all in a book his children will better be able to reflect on their father and contextualize the person they knew at home and the larger than life character we all knew. He could have taken the time to sit down and talk to them and I am sure he did in one way or another, but you can't impart that much information in a conversation. And you certainly can't expect your children to 'get it'. Personally I think him doing it for his kids is fantastic and a luxury only offered to him because of his success. How many people out there would jump at the chance to do the same if they had the means.
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

I'm glad he knew what is most important in this world.

Yikes. Being Father of the Year has made you a bit judgmental. Thanks for chiming in though, I was curious how you felt seeing as you've never met the man.

Any other previous FotY winners feel like judging someone you don't know on a subject you're not qualified to chime in on?

Grac
post #8 of 44
Life is full of choices, could Steve have accomplished everything he did, and still be a father, spending as much quality time with his kids as he would have liked? Probably not. Majority stockholder of Disney, Pixar, Apple, Senior inventor and engineer at Apple, directed the company from near bankdrupcy to the most powerful company in America. This demands time and energy.

Consider Oprah, love her or hate her - she is a dominant power in Hollywood. She had a choice, wife and mother - or the role she chose to pursue.

Steve Jobs made a choice, it may not be the choice we would have made; but his choice allowed him to become the legend he is today. Perhaps the greatest CEO who ever lived, someone who re-defined how we interact with technology in everyday life, as well in recreation.

This took time, and personal sacrifice that many of us would simply be unwiling to make. that is why we will NEVER be a Steve Jobs. He was willing to make those personal sacrifices to accomplish what he did. If he hadn't - it's unlikely there would be a Pixar, or even an Apple computer around today.
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by gracyon View Post

Yikes. Being Father of the Year has made you a bit judgmental. Thanks for chiming in though, I was curious how you felt seeing as you've never met the man.

Any other previous FotY winners feel like judging someone you don't know on a subject you're not qualified to chime in on?

Grac

It's also my judgement that family comes first. It apparently wasn't for Steve, at least until the end. Any particular reason you feel a need to insult ConradJoe? Perhaps you're feeling some guilt about the relationship with your own family?
post #10 of 44
We ALL make sacrifices that impact the amount of time (both quantity and quality) we have to spend with our loved ones. In cases involving adoption etc there are additional complexities.

Depending on the age of our children - they may or may not be able to comprehend the reasons for certain sacrifices. and there is of course a wide spectrum from I isn't spend time with my kids because I was a self-obsessed ego-maniac and wasn't interested in them to I worked my arse off to provide every possible advantage for my family that I could.

We all have to make our choices and live with the consequences. Those around us may or may not be fully aware of or understand or appreciate our reasons for making the choices we make.

In the end it would be a benefit for any of us to have the ability to pass on an account of how and why we did the things we did - especially if we have a skilled writer to put it into a form that is may be more conducive or perhaps more open than we may have been able to express directly ourselves - and, as in this case, that is less ephemeral than having a conversation one afternoon. Sure if may be less personal in a book, but I think we can be sure that it will be more than Sorry I wasn't there for you kids, I was busy doing my own thing.

I imagine it is a small consolation for those closest to Steve - but no matter where you fall on the relative merits of anything he has contributed - in my opinion the world is a better place thanks to his efforts and eh will be missed.
post #11 of 44
Many people who have such a large impact on the world are not necessarily good fathers...sad but true. What's even more sad is there are so many people who have NO impact on the world, and who are also bad fathers
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

Many people who have such a large impact on the world are not necessarily good fathers...sad but true. What's even more sad is there are so many people who have NO impact on the world, and who are also bad fathers

THIS






Jobs had a higher purpose in life, wether it was destined or developed.

There are numerous examples of artists, innovators et al that have chosen the same road with regards to family.

We are all better for it.
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

Many people who have such a large impact on the world are not necessarily good fathers...sad but true.

True. Gandhi and The Buddha come to mind.......
post #14 of 44
I was reading that when asked by his doctor if he was glad he'd had kids, he replied. "it's 10,000 times better than anything I've ever done. "
Human after all.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

It's also my judgement that family comes first. It apparently wasn't for Steve, at least until the end. Any particular reason you feel a need to insult ConradJoe? Perhaps you're feeling some guilt about the relationship with your own family?

Question: Have you read the book yet?

How many people have the best understanding of their parents that they could have? Steve simply stated that he would like for his children to know him better. Most parents, the good ones, do want their children to know them better. The good ones do make an effort in that regard for their children's sake.

For me, Steve clearly prioritized his family and children above the aims of himself and Apple. If you have paid any attention to the policies of any of Apple's stores, you would know right away that they reflected the values of Steve Jobs. In fact, when all the brouhaha hit the fan over Apple refusing to sell pornography through the App Store, Steve asked one vociferous person if he had children? Steve said that if that person had children, he'd understand Steve's and Apple's position on the matter.

Parents cannot always be there for their children. If a child attributes the sentiment that their parents were always there for them, what the child means is that his/her parents were there most of the time - for most important events, but not all. Still, unless you are a member of the Jobs household, you will never get the entire story of what kind of father Steve was to his children. Only his wife and kids have that privilege; the same privilege that all families have.

Given that Steve was concerned about how his children remembered him, how they knew him, I'd say without reading his biography that he was indeed the best father that he could be. And because of his intent behind letting the biography be written - which was for the benefit of his children - and without posing restrictions and judgment, I'd say he's still trying to be the best father that he can be, even though he is no longer here.
post #16 of 44
post #17 of 44
Such a sad tale.
post #18 of 44
I'm not sure why people are assuming he wasn't a good father. In no way does the article say that.

Like most fathers, he wasn't able to spend all the time he wanted with his kids. It doesn't mean he didn't get a chance to spend some good times with his kids. He just wants his kids to know more about him.
post #19 of 44
What's truly sad and should stand as a broad indictment of our society is that the tale of a man who achieved greatness could be viewed as "cautionary" because he hurt some people's feelings along the way. Steve Jobs never harmed anyone, he just bruised a few egos.
post #20 of 44
Just read the Time article on my iPad.....

pretty interesting stuff, but seems like a lot of hype for Isaacson's book.

The Time piece gives you just enough info to "maybe" make you want more. I can say that I will not need more.... As far as the kids comment, he was without a doubt an absentee father with regrets....
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did," Jobs said of his children to Isaacson.

While I feel its going to be a great read, I do find this sentence strange. Why not keep the book private, just for his wife and children to understand? Why broadcast it to the world?
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Such a sad tale.

Attend the tale of Steve Jobs. I've never understood why people who know they will be lacking in their parenting (Steve obviously has some sort of guilt per that quote) feels the need they have to procreate?
And I agree with above - keep it private with a future (25) year release date. Like the Jackie O tapes.
post #23 of 44
deleted
post #24 of 44
I don't get the responses to this story. There's no implication in the quote that Jobs was a bad father or that he felt he was a bad father. He said he wants his kids to understand what he was doing, which strongly implies that he felt what he was doing was understandable. Most of us don't know our parents in the way that reading a tell-all biography of their lives would help us to know them, even if our parents weren't busy running multinational corporations.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I don't get the responses to this story. There's no implication in the quote that Jobs was a bad father or that he felt he was a bad father.

Yes, it does imply that:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Just a few weeks before his death, Steve Jobs revealed in an interview that he agreed to an authorized biography on his life so that his children could know why he wasn't always there for them.

Sorry, kids. Making gadgets. Can't come to your soccer match tonight....can't help you with your homework tonight....

Not that a father has to be spending every moment with his kids when they are home. But anyone who says that he is trying to explain why he wasn't always there for them obviously feels a bit of regret for putting career before family. And that's what's sad.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I don't get the responses to this story. There's no implication in the quote that Jobs was a bad father or that he felt he was a bad father. He said he wants his kids to understand what he was doing, which strongly implies that he felt what he was doing was understandable. Most of us don't know our parents in the way that reading a tell-all biography of their lives would help us to know them, even if our parents weren't busy running multinational corporations.

?? I thought the quote read- "I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did"
post #27 of 44
Sad to hear he was in pain. Cancer sucks.

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post #28 of 44
I'm reminded of Tiger Woods' apology news conference. He made the comment that, if he hadn't let his Buddhist faith slide, his family may have remained intact.

The Buddha left his wife and child in order to pursue enlightenment. So Buddhism may not be the best vehicle for family values and cohesion.

Buddhism is about pursuing your own path. The physical world is painful, and the way to enlightenment is trying to push the physical world away and enter the one-ness of the universe via meditation. It's not really a faith that values community and relationships.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

I'm reminded of Tiger Woods' apology news conference. He made the comment that, if he hadn't let his Buddhist faith slide, his family may have remained intact.

The Buddha left his wife and child in order to pursue enlightenment. So Buddhism may not be the best vehicle for family values and cohesion.

Buddhism is about pursuing your own path. The physical world is painful, and the way to enlightenment is trying to push the physical world away and enter the one-ness of the universe via meditation. It's not really a faith that values community and relationships.

pffft. No faith does that. It's all a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.

I'm reminded that the KKK is a christian organiztaion.
post #30 of 44
When faced with death, I'm sure we will all have regrets. It is sad that it takes death to realize how special the people in our lives really are, but we're all human with fears, wishes and thoughts that drive our sad, and boring daily lives at the expense of those we love.
post #31 of 44
It's truly sad that all the accomplishments and status pale in comparison to lost family time. He made a choice. I know other men that have the same energetic pursuits of 'their calling', and put kids second. I shake my head when they express regret at not spending enough time with their family- usually only getting clarity of the problem after it's too late.
These types of regrets always bubble to the surface at the end of life, and the wise among us should take note. I admire the man greatly, but I hope and pray I would never be left with explaining to my children my absence through a book after my demise.
I turned down a job with Apple a few years ago because of this very reason. I knew what the work/hours requirements would be going into it, and my family would suffer for it... not financially, but in lost time which can never be recovered. I'm glad I made the choice I did. The resumé suffered for it, but my kids and family are happier for it.
post #32 of 44
rest in peace steve, you no longer have to deal with judgmental a-holes.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

?? I thought the quote read- "I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did"

Yes, which in no way implies that he was a bad father or thought he was a bad father. "Wasn't always there for them" is pretty weak. He wants his kids to understand what he was doing that kept him so busy. It doesn't imply that he thinks he was doing something wrong, just that he wanted them to know the whole story, his reasons.
post #34 of 44
Lisa is a hottie. i can see a little bit of Steve in her.



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post #35 of 44
s4mb4,
You really need to get out more often and attend a church or two, maybe more if needed. I belong to a faith that is extremely committed to family and community relationships, so I know there is at least one faith that does that. If you look at the June 2011 issue of National Geographic you will find a article about how scientists are discovering that religion is the most likely explanation of what brought humans together to form civilizations (this was previously credited to beer making and agriculture). That, by definition, is faith supporting community and relationships.
Peace.

Oh, and my sympathies go out to Steve's family. I will miss Steve, too.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

It's also my judgement that family comes first. It apparently wasn't for Steve, at least until the end. Any particular reason you feel a need to insult ConradJoe? Perhaps you're feeling some guilt about the relationship with your own family?

For the most part, well-balanced people are not the people who achieve the kinds of greatness that change the world. People who achieve greatness, whether creative, scientific or business are highly focused and frequently concentrate on their interests to the exclusion of almost everything else, frequently alienating family, friends and even business associates. I've always theorized that people like Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg, etc. have mild forms of autism.

Geniuses like Picasso, Henry Ford, Nicholas Tesla, Gandhi, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Leonard Bernstein, etc. were all considered with varying degrees to be failing in terms of their personal relationships.

Each person has to make a choice for themselves about what's the most important thing in their lives. For you or I, it might be family. For others, it might be about their creativity or the companies that they founded. When I held senior positions in product development, I felt like my products were my children. In fact, if you criticized my kid, I wouldn't mind, but if you criticized my products, I got very upset.

Even if Jobs didn't spend enough time with his kids, he focused his life on Apple and Pixar and he did indeed change the world. I actually think he made the right choice although that's easy for me to say since I'm not his kid. But I don 't think any of us idiots on forums like this should be judging him.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SixnaHalfFeet View Post

s4mb4,
You really need to get out more often and attend a church or two, maybe more if needed. I belong to a faith that is extremely committed to family and community relationships, so I know there is at least one faith that does that. If you look at the June 2011 issue of National Geographic you will find a article about how scientists are discovering that religion is the most likely explanation of what brought humans together to form civilizations (this was previously credited to beer making and agriculture). That, by definition, is faith supporting community and relationships.
Peace.

Oh, and my sympathies go out to Steve's family. I will miss Steve, too.

i don't want to hijack this thread, however, i must comment.

it is a scientific fact that evolution is the reason we are commited to family and community. I would suggest you read Richard Dawkins book called the God Delusion.
In it, he and other scientists state the reason we as humans have morals is because of kin selection.

To say faith defines our values Ie. "morals", I would remind you that faith has a history that includes beliefs in such things as eugenics, sterilisation and purification. A pretty grewsome picture of "Family Values".....
post #38 of 44
Post your Tribute photos, videos, etc. about Steve.


Remembering Steve Jobs
http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=133651

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post #39 of 44
To those who are quick to judge:

Before I am ready to form an opinion on Steve's performance as a father I will 1) read the book, and 2) wait until I hear something from his children and his wife on this matter.

Anyone who spouts off about this now is crassly seizing upon an early opportunity to piss on his grave. As Joseph Welch said to Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" Or fairness and intellectual honesty, I would add.
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post #40 of 44
I cannot speak for Steve Jobs or his private family life. I can say this: when people produce offspring at young ages out of wedlock outcomes are unpredictable.

Steve did reconcile with first child. Steve did continue on and married (and stayed married) and produced the children he was actively involved with.

All parents balance time spent with children and demands of work. I bet Steve and his wife new that Steve was going to be laser focused upon Apple. The first child (Lisa) was an unintended pregnancy, the offspring within his established marriage was intended and welcomed (I imagine). Steve was focused but I speculate that he took his family seriously and did come home.

My neighbor Steve Jobs

Be careful of the trap of myth building whether that be Jesus or Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs was a remarkable human. Steve Jobs never called himself a pure saint. Humans are flawed, people have shortcomings. So what. I am sorry for the passing and loss to Steve Jobs family and those that intimately new him.

He is a cultural icon and there is quiet a bit I identify with. Never met personally - just 7 MacWorld Keynotes and one private Apple Specialist meeting I was within 200 feet. I can attest that he was charismatic, with a lot of energy. I would have eaten up any browbeating as an employee and cherished it for life. When we drive and push ourselves and others to excel is an excellent opportunity for growth.

All else is speculation and nobodies business.
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