Author Walter Isaacson discusses his new biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, which was released just three weeks after Jobs’ death in October. The biography has already become Amazon’s top-selling book of 2011.

Walter Isaacson, biographer and CEO of the Aspen Institute. Formerly chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. His other books include "Einstein: His Life and Universe" and "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life."

  • Margaret, Sunnyvale, CA

    Our daughters and one son-in-law went to Cupertino Junior Hi (now Cupertino Middle school) and Homestead High, so we have some Jobs/Wozniak/Apple stories.  When one daughter was a young teen, a man picked her up to  babysit.  He had just moved to the area to work for “this new company, Apple.”  And I’m thinking, “Who would ever take a company seriously that was name ‘Apple?’

    Steve Jobs was a great admirer of Bob Noyce, the inventor of the integrated circuit.  He paid $10,000 to a photographer friend who had taken the photo of Bob Noyce, which is in the Intel lobby.  The story of the transaction is very amusing.(but I don’t feel free to mention names)

    P.S I don’t know if Walter Isaacson knew Sally Mencimer, dated at the Aspen Institute.  She was a friend and I dated her brother in high school.

  • RegularListener

    Could the guest comment about the fact that Jobs denied fathering his first child, and (allegedly) let her and her mother depend on welfare for two years, even though he had enough money to provide the child support that would have kept them off the public dime? If true, this is not the fault of expecting “perfectionism” of others, but rather social irresponsiblity.

    • utera

      and ghandi killed his wife *indirectly

      Google it.

  • Zoe

    I knew Steve socially for over 30 years…he was always very private about his social activities.  But he was very active in quite a few areas as a philanthropist. It’s not up to me to say anymore, out of respect for his privacy.

    Also, I never knew him as anything but very bright, intense and very charming.  Don’t forget, he actually sold people on the idea of the personal computer well before the established companies even conceptualized its place in out day-to-day lives. So it does not take much to imagine what kind of personality & passion was required to sell everyone on the change to the world which his technology would bring.

    Can any of us imagine what the world would be like today had he not lived?

    • David

      yes, we would have devices not unlike the devices we have, only less expensive and not as pretty.

    • Chrisco

       Out of respect for his privacy? But he’s dead.

  • Raj

    Would the guest comment on whether Steve read manuscript of the biomegraphy? If he did, what kinds of feedback did he provide?

  • Former employee

    Imagine a company that was so integrated, so focused, and so filled with smart people that Apple could turn on a dime…at any moment, on any issue…

    and about cost of apple products–and on the price debate — pricing was the cheapest that Apple would charge their family and friends…Apple was that socially aware

  • Cynthiastjohn

    Please ask Walter if he ever discussed the Fake Steve Jobs blog.

  • barberjohn

    Well written, however I fired Steve when I got half way through.  Not a good person.  I’ll content myself to be a struggling Barber here in Oakland, from Cleveland, rather than this kind of guy.

  • Donald

    Hey, Jobs “borrowed” his ideas from Xerox – let’s give a little credit to the real inventors!

  • listner

    I finished biography book almost a month ago, In the book Mr. Walter has written that Mr. Jobs used to read “Autobiography of a Yogi” once a year…….I am kind of having trouble to believe that….

  • C. Stuart

    Steve Jobs’ disease was Neuroendocrine Cancer of the Pancreas.  It is a slow growing deadly cancer.  There are treatments for NETS which also include Carcinoid Cancer.  Why is this cancer ignored by the biographer as well as the general media, inc. Forum?   I had Carcinoid Cancer of the lung and was so hoping that Job’s cancer would finally bring attention to NETS.  R&D are needed.  Thousands of people are diagnosed each year with this Orphan disease.

  • Adonis

    The reason Steve is in the same class as be it Einstein or Benjamin Franklin or many other “famous” people is that he inspired, still inspires and will keep inspiring people for a long time. It goes beyond the physical products and creations. Those who are too short sighted and excessively pragmatic will certainly miss this connection. Those also happen to be part of the nay-sayers, who simply cannot extract positive from any situation.

    Thank you Steve for all the inspiration!

    PS. I worked for Steve and it’s assuring to me that Apple has ingrained many of his and his team’s attitudes, views and methods. Many of the people who make up the company are artists and technologists and they care about the products, their customers and progressing humanity in whatever way they can.

  • Jon Kannegaard

    Balderdash! It’s not true that Steve’s awful behavior was aimed at mediocrity.  It was aimed at anyone who was not advancing his agenda.  If you weren’t doing his bidding you were brain dead even if you were doing brilliant, transformative work of your own.   Apple isn’t the only innovative company in Silicon Valley. Apple had little to do with the Internet revolution and nothing to do with the fabulous technologies on the other end of our browsers. That work was done by the officially brain dead.

  • Tony Rocco

    Whenever the subject of Steve Jobs comes up, the first thing I hear is a litany of complaints about his supposedly difficult personality, his character flaws and his moral inadequacies. He was a human being like the rest of us, imperfect in many ways, but unlike the rest of us, he was gifted and driven and actually made a difference in this world. To allow his flaws to eclipse his amazing accomplishments is foolish and small-minded in a way that makes bozos of those who do so.

    • Chrisco

      (Sarcasm alert.) Yes, you  are right. We never hear how Jobs was a gifted genius and had many accomplishments.

    • utera

      It seems many of these folks are worried we don’t know that he was less than perfect….

      Once again..for the complainers that won’t acknowledge his contribution, we know about his problems, they have been discussed for as long as he was famous, he was never considered a saint, so I’m not sure why folks come from that position of false outrage.

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