Lisa Brennan-Jobs details life with Steve In interview promoting memoir

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2018
The daughter of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs and namesake of the Lisa computer continued to promote her new memoir this week in an interview, talking about her complicated relationship with her father -- and why she wishes she could give all of his money to Bill Gates' foundation.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs' memoir, Small Fry


Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the oldest daughter of Apple cofounder Jobs, has written a memoir about her life, "Small Fry." The book, which comes out Sept. 4, tells stories from the life of a child who at first was not acknowledged by her famous father, although he did, famously, name a computer after her.

In an interview to promote the book with The New York Times, the 40-year-old Brennan-Jobs appeared to have some regrets about exactly how far she went in the book.

The Times interview includes details from the memoir, including quite a bit of cruelty directed at Brennan-Jobs by her father, some of which has been reported before.

Jobs, she says, repeatedly told her she would inherit "nothing." He told her, falsely, that the Lisa computer was not named for her. He was "cold" to her when they lived together during her high school years. At one point, when Brennan-Jobs' mother expressed interest in a house, Jobs bought the house himself and moved into it. And Jobs' official Apple bio once described him as the father of three children, omitting Lisa.

The book also contains some positive stories about Jobs, and Brennan-Jobs says that she forgives her father for the cruel things he did and wishes for readers of the book to forgive him too.

A contingent of other Jobs family members, including his widow Laurene Powell Jobs, his sister Mona Simpson and Jobs' other children, issued a statement to the newspaper: "Lisa is part of our family, so it was with sadness that we read her book, which differs dramatically from our memories of those times. The portrayal of Steve is not the husband and father we knew. Steve loved Lisa, and he regretted that he was not the father he should have been during her early childhood. It was a great comfort to Steve to have Lisa home with all of us during the last days of his life, and we are all grateful for the years we spent together as a family."

Powell Jobs makes appearances in the book, some of which are grating. In one scene, Jobs forces Brennan-Jobs to watch a seemingly inappropriate encounter with Powell Jobs, "pulling her in to a kiss, moving his hand closer to her breasts," and up her thigh, "moaning theatrically," the report said. When Brennan-Jobs attempts to leave, Jobs stopped her.

"'Hey Lis,' he said. 'Stay here. We're having a family moment. It's important that you try to be part of this family.' I sat still, looking away as he moaned and undulated," Brennan-Jobs writes.

Powell Jobs again appears in a scene describing a therapy session in which Brennan-Jobs confesses feeling lonely, saying she wants her parents to say good night to her, the report said.

"We're just cold people," Powell Jobs responded to the therapist. The line, according to Brennan-Jobs, is the best in the book.

Despite promises from Jobs that Lisa would "inherit nothing," she in fact received an inheritance in the millions, the equal to Jobs' other children. But she told the Times that were it up to her, she would have left Jobs' multi-billion dollar fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was founded by her father's longtime rival.

"I feel like the Gates Foundation is really doing good stuff, and I think I would just hot potato it away," she said.

Despite the at times harsh portrayal of her father, Brennan-Jobs does share anecdotes that cast Jobs in a favorable light. In the interview, Brennan-Jobs says one reason she wrote the memoir was to figure out why Jobs shared his wealth "more freely" with the children he had with Powell Jobs. Looking back, she believes Jobs was attempting to apply teach her that money can corrupt, a notion that reflected his values.

"You can have a value system and be unable to totally live it," she told the publication. "And you can imagine being that rich and famous and how amazing it is if you can hold on to some of your value system. He didn't do it right. He didn't apply it evenly. But I feel grateful for it."

The book was first announced last spring, and an excerpt was published in Vanity Fair earlier this month, one that hinged largely on the different things Lisa was told over the course of her life about whether or not the Lisa computer was really named for her.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    Seems like a pretty brutal book, one that provides plenty of opportunity for the anti-Apple, anti-Jobs crowd to vent their venom. See, for example, this piece of click-bait: https://nyti.ms/2o59bBM

    I don’t think I’ll be reading it. 
    racerhomie3olsspacekid
  • Reply 2 of 28
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,226member
    Yeah, he was an ass. I'm shocked. 

    I'd rethink that "give it all to the BMGF" comment though. They command enormous wealth, and are answerable to no one.
    JWSCcgWerksolsspacekidjony0
  • Reply 3 of 28
    netroxnetrox Posts: 699member
    "We're just cold people," Powell-Jobs responded to the therapist. The line, according to Brennan-Jobs, is the best in the book.

    I agree. That's how I think... cold but not evil in a sense, just cold. Indifferent. Little passion for individuals. But it can be an advantage. 


  • Reply 4 of 28
    So, er, is she giving all of her inheritance and personal wealth the Gates Foundation as well? I honestly don't know but am curious.
    cgWerksggbrigetteolsjony0
  • Reply 5 of 28
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,390member
    Well?  Did she do as she preached and gave her inheritance to Bill Gate's foundation?

    Waiting....
  • Reply 6 of 28
    sumergosumergo Posts: 198member
    Well Lisa Brennan-Jobs:  Please give all the money you inherited from your despised Father to Bill Gates and his foundations.

    You seem to need some therapy about your self-regard, but what you really need to do is stop whining - there are people who would love to have your "problems".


    racerhomie3adamcolsspacekid
  • Reply 7 of 28
    So funny that she married a guy from Microsoft named Bill. 
  • Reply 8 of 28
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,226member
    sumergo said:
    Well Lisa Brennan-Jobs:  Please give all the money you inherited from your despised Father to Bill Gates and his foundations.

    You seem to need some therapy about your self-regard, but what you really need to do is stop whining - there are people who would love to have your "problems".


    Easy. I think the world is a very different place when you're a teenager, or younger. I wouldn't wish those problems on kids under any circumstances. 

    I guessing writing this book was perhaps cathartic for someone coming to grips with their now fame and perhaps lonely past. I've only met one uber-wealthy person, and he is quite kind and normal. I have met lots of people that had asshole parents, and many of them are, well... not. It might be worth a read, as it is hard for me to relate to uber-richness. 
    Carnageelectrosoft
  • Reply 9 of 28
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 275member
    Why so many the knee-jerk reactions to defend Steve?  He is certainly one to be admired for the many things he did in his work life.  He is one of my personal hero’s for going up against the stodgy and unimaginative naysayers and nincompoops in industry after industry.  But we all know he was far from perfect.

    Lisa wrote her book from the heart sharing her unique perspective of her father.  We should not be surprised that it’s not all milk and honey.  Steve himself laid the uncomfortable groundwork for Lisa’s book.  Don’t read it if you don’t want.
    lollivernetroxolsCarnageelectrosoftjony0
  • Reply 10 of 28
    sumergo said:
    ...what you really need to do is stop whining - there are people who would love to have your "problems".
    And I wish that I could be… Richard Cory.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 11 of 28
    sumergosumergo Posts: 198member
    eightzero said:
    sumergo said:
    Well Lisa Brennan-Jobs:  Please give all the money you inherited from your despised Father to Bill Gates and his foundations.

    You seem to need some therapy about your self-regard, but what you really need to do is stop whining - there are people who would love to have your "problems".


    Easy. I think the world is a very different place when you're a teenager, or younger. I wouldn't wish those problems on kids under any circumstances. 

    I guessing writing this book was perhaps cathartic for someone coming to grips with their now fame and perhaps lonely past. I've only met one uber-wealthy person, and he is quite kind and normal. I have met lots of people that had asshole parents, and many of them are, well... not. It might be worth a read, as it is hard for me to relate to uber-richness. 
    Understood.  But in our current western victim culture, we actually really do need to stand up and not be so pathetically needy.  Where's the gut and spine of the Americans of yesteryear?
    racerhomie3ggbrigettemike54king editor the grate
  • Reply 12 of 28
    sumergosumergo Posts: 198member

    sumergo said:
    ...what you really need to do is stop whining - there are people who would love to have your "problems".
    And I wish that I could be… Richard Cory.
    OK TS.  Stop being so elliptic.  Your Richard Cory quote means . . . ?
  • Reply 13 of 28
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    sumergo said:
    sumergo said:
    ...what you really need to do is stop whining - there are people who would love to have your "problems".
    And I wish that I could be… Richard Cory.
    OK TS.  Stop being so elliptic.  Your Richard Cory quote means . . . ?
    They say that Richard Cory owns one-half of this whole town
    With political connections to spread his wealth around.
    Born into society, a banker's only child
    He had everything a man could want, power, grace and style.
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Oh, I wish that I could be Richard Cory.
    The papers print his pictures almost everywhere he goes
    Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show.
    And the rumours of his parties and the orgies on his yacht
    Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he's got.
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Oh, I wish that I could be Richard Cory.
    He freely gave to charity, he had the common touch
    And they were grateful for his patronage and they thanked him very much.
    So my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read:
    "Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head."
    But I work in his factory
    And I curse the life I'm living
    And I curse my poverty
    And I wish that I could be
    Oh, I wish that I could be
    Oh, I wish that I could be Richard Cory.
    CarnageblurpbleepbloopSpamSandwich
  • Reply 14 of 28
    sflocal said:
    Well?  Did she do as she preached and gave her inheritance to Bill Gate's foundation?

    Waiting....
    My question exactly. 

    She would give someone ELSES money to their rival. 

    But once she personally has has something to lose, how does that go?

    if the events that she writes about are true, then Jobs and his wife had some pretty major issues. But there may be some embellishment as well based on how she FELT versus what actually took place. 

    It’s the part about giving away Jobs’ hard earned money to his diva that gets me though. Just disrespectful. And if she really felt that was the right thing, then she should show that she gave every cent that she inherited to Bill Gates. The proceeds from her book should probably go there too. 
    badmonk
  • Reply 15 of 28
    You know, I never really paid attention before, but dang. She looks JUST like Steve. A lot prettier, but a dead ringer for his daughter. Sorry she had to spend some of her young life having that called into question. 
  • Reply 16 of 28
    A pathetic woman.
    mike54williamlondonking editor the gratepatchythepirate
  • Reply 17 of 28

    I'd expect childhood rejection from a father would have a deep impact on a person's psyche and, as @Eightzero mentioned, this could be a way of getting some catharsis.

    I think the truth is somewhere between this book and the statement issued by the rest of the Jobs family.


    I don't begrudge Lisa for writing this book, but the more I read about it, the less I actually want to read it.

    mike54
  • Reply 18 of 28
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,094member
    Wait, you're saying a guy who could be a cruel, mean jerk sometimes (and sometimes not) was a cruel, mean jerk sometimes (and sometimes not) to his own daughter?!

    People are surprised by this?
    electrosoft
  • Reply 19 of 28
    mike54mike54 Posts: 293member
    Sad that she has issues. Whatever her motivation for the book, I hope it helps her to achieves some peace, however there are better to do this. I won't be buying it.
    Many children experience things like this, and turn out perfectly happy, content, successful, balanced, and with no lasting bitterness. And who knows if its true anyway, not an interpretation.
    It also what happens these days, this 'current western victim culture' (as a comment by Sumergo above mentioned).
    She has more money than most people on the planet would have in ten lifetimes. Go and live, stop whinging. If you don't want it, give it to people in need, giving it to Gates is last place you should give it to.

    patchythepirateStrangeDays
  • Reply 20 of 28
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 136member
    A pathetic woman.
    That comment is clearly a reflection of the person that wrote it.
    Carnageking editor the grateblurpbleepbloopJWSClarryjw
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