On February 24, 1955 a child was born to humble beginnings. Born out of wedlock and put up for adoption, who could have known the impact he would make as a young man? Even more stunning was his untimely demise in a battle against pancreatic cancer a little more than two weeks ago. With the life and death of Steve Jobs fresh on our minds, his biography is being released to the public today. Written by former Time Magazine editor, Walter Isaacson, this book is sure to provoke many thoughts and emotions. Even as I ponder the life of this brilliant innovator, I am inspired by the impact he made in his short life, and reminded that time is short.
Steve Kroft, of 60 Minutes, interviewed Walter Isaacson last night. Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Kissinger: A Biography, revealed that he felt that Jobs was being “presumptuous” when he approached him to be the author of this biography seven years ago. At the time, Isaacson was not aware of Job’s cancer diagnosis. Below, you can see the video interview posted on the 60 Minutes website.
Isaacson conducted more than forty interviews with Jobs. He also interviewed scores of friends, colleagues, competitors, and family members. Jobs gave Isaacson full rein on the biography. He had no skeletons to hide and wanted it to be an honest account of his life.
What little I have gleaned from the interview with 60 Minutes, as well as the description on Simon and Schuster’s website, it appears that this book is well worth reading. As with so many great men, Jobs’s life was multidimensional. His victories were great, however his tragedies were, as well.
I hope that those who read this book find the same inspiration that I have while researching this article. He was not a perfect man, but there is no doubting his contributions to the world. As cruel as life can be at times, the great ones, like Jobs, learn to endure and rise above. I also believe that the great ones embrace the words Jobs shared at a 2005 commencement at Stanford University:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life!