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Tim Cook's early life in small town Alabama profiled by local newspaper

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Alabama paper AL.com on Monday published a profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook, offering a peek into the chief executive's formative days in Robertsdale through interviews with teachers, friends and his parents.

Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook with fellow yearbook staff for the class of 1978 . | Source: AL.com


As Cook demurs when it comes to his private life -- much like late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs -- the AL.com feature presents a rarely seen backdrop to the executive's well-documented tenures at IBM, Intelligent Electronics, Compaq and Apple.

In 1971, Cook's parents Geraldine and Don moved their family of five to Robertsdale, Alabama, a small farming town in Baldwin County. When he moved in at age 11, Cook added to the roughly 2,300 people who called Robertsdale home.

The 53-year-old Apple exec is the middle of three brothers who took three relatively different paths after high school. The eldest, Gerald, 56, worked for the IRS before becoming an analyst at a private company in North Carolina, while the youngest, Michael, 47, went straight to the Air Force and now works in the maritime industry like his father.

Throughout the article, Cook is described by those who knew him as a diligent, hard-working student. Not to be called a "nerd," he excelled in school and one former teacher called him "the kind of person you liked to be around."

Cook's amiable demeanor is a recurring theme throughout the article, as echoed by classmate Teresa Prochaska Huntsman, the one person who achieved higher marks than the Apple head in high school.

"He wasn't one-dimensional," Huntsman said. "I didn't know anybody who didn't like him. He had a great personality."

After high school, Cook chose to attend Auburn University over Alabama for his secondary education, something he had planned to do since the seventh grade, his mother said. Cook went on to earn his master's degree from Duke while working at IBM, then on to Intelligent Electronics and Compaq before landing at Apple in 1998.
post #2 of 15
He's a good man.

But I'd like to see a little less Southern gentleman and a little more pugnacious puncher.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

He's a good man...
 

A successor who is another of Steve Jobs' successes.

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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #4 of 15
I suspect that Cook's demeanor has gotten much of what he wants and it disarms the troublemakers. Pugnaciousness only lasts for a while, and to turn Leo Durocher's quote around, nice guys do sometimes finish first. It's easy to say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, at the wrong time, and then spend much too much time straightening it out again. Cook avoids that. He would be the kind of guy I would like to work for, I know I could trust him.
post #5 of 15
"rarely seen backdrop" link gives a 404 error

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post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

He's a good man.

But I'd like to see a little less Southern gentleman and a little more pugnacious puncher.

I appreciate his disposition and temperament. I think we have way too many CEOs that seem to have gotten their positions by being both the loudest person in the room and the best liar.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #7 of 15
53? Good grief, he's really not that old (relatively speaking).

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #8 of 15

Nice to see an article like this about Tim. Seems like a gentleman. We get very few of them nowadays.

post #9 of 15
It's funny that his mum calls him Cook.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I appreciate his disposition and temperament. I think we have way too many CEOs that seem to have gotten their positions by being both the loudest person in the room and the best liar.

But I am only asking for a 'little less' and a 'little more'....
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by zaba View Post
It's funny that his mum calls him Cook.

 

“My little Cookie” when he was younger, maybe?

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #12 of 15
Ahah he has the same smile

funny
post #13 of 15

Sadly, I remember those promotional yearbook t-shirts in the photo...

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

"rarely seen backdrop" link gives a 404 error

Hence it is "rarely seen".
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

“My little Cookie” when he was younger, maybe?

She started out calling him "Timmy" but he kept falling into dry wells and closed mine shafts and it was frustrating to get the family dog to let on she knew where he was. According to local sources, the family shot the dog and started calling him "Cookie" and everything cleared up fine. It was about then that "Cookie" started hanging around older men at the gym...
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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