The incident occurred at 4:27 p.m Eastern time after a reporter making updates to the stock 17-page obit inadvertently pushed it to thousands of corporate clients through a newswire.
A copy of the release snagged by Gawker shows template holders for Jobs' age and cause of death. Also published with the piece was a laundry list of people Bloomberg reporters should contact in the event of Jobs' passing, including former girl friend Heidi Roizen and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, who purchased an early circuit board for the game Breakout from Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak back in the 70's.
The obit opened by commending Jobs as the man who "helped make personal computers as easy to use as telephones, changed the way animated films are made, persuaded consumers to tune into digital music and refashioned the mobile phone.
A quote from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, also published early in the obit, praised Jobs as the best "inspirational leader" he'd ever met. "He's got a belief in the excellence of products," Gates said in the quote recorded over a decade ago. "He's able to communicate that."
Jobs' health has been an ongoing topic of concern for both investors and those who admire his contributions to modern technology ever since his triumphant battle with pancreatic cancer five years ago. Those worries peaked earlier this year when unsettling photos from Apple's annual developers conference raised new questions as to the cause behind the chief executive's increasingly gaunt appearance.
The Times later reported that Jobs had been battling a nutritional problem in the wake of his cancer surgery, and that he recently underwent a second surgical procedure to address an issue that was contributing to his weight loss. However, some still feared his cancer may have returned in the process.
To set all matters straight, Jobs personally contacted the Times' Joe Nocera by telephone, called him a "slime bucket," but then added that his ongoing health issues werent life-threatening and that he doesnt have a recurrence of cancer.