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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,567member
    That's sad.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    Now that's a legacy I wouldn't want to hand down...
  • Reply 3 of 43
    sipsip Posts: 210member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    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
  • Reply 7 of 43
    hodarhodar Posts: 265member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 43
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    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
  • Reply 11 of 43
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    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.......
  • Reply 13 of 43
    argonautargonaut Posts: 124member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Such a sad tale.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    leonardleonard Posts: 528member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    s4mb4s4mb4 Posts: 267member
    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....
  • Reply 20 of 43
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    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?
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