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An Unprecedented look into the Life of Steve Jobs

Apple fanatics around the world are hotly anticipating the arrival of Steve Jobs (Simon & Schuster, 656pgs) the biography by Walter Isaacson, which hits shelves on Monday October 24. Isaacson, a high-profile biographer, was granted Jobs’ full cooperation with the book and was allowed exclusive access to the highly private entrepreneur. The pair met for dozens of interviews, the last taking place a few short weeks before the creative visionary’s passing on October 5. In an interview with the Associated Press, Isaacson provides an early glimpse into Jobs’ private life. Their conversations touched on many subjects, including the impetus for the Apple name, which Jobs came up with after visiting an apple orchard during his experimentation with a fruitarian diet. He felt the name was “fun, spirited and not intimidating.”

The Apple CEO also spoke of his decision to delay surgery to remove the tumor on his pancreas, in favor of alternative medicine, despite the urging of family members and colleagues. “‘I really didn’t want them to open up my body, so I tried to see if a few other things would work,’ he told me years later with a hint of regret,” writes Isaacson quoting Jobs.

The book also reveals details of the deteriorating friendship between Jobs and former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, who also served as an Apple board member from 2006-2009. Jobs became enraged in early 2010 when the HTC Android phone debuted with features very similar to the iPhone, accusing Google of “grand theft.” “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” he is quoted as saying. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Jobs had a different take on behemoth Hewlett-Packard, who at first tried to compete with Apple in the tablet market, though has since stopped developing for this segment. “Hewlett and Packard built a great company, and they thought they had left it in good hands,” Jobs commented to the author. “But now it’s being dismembered and destroyed.”

“I hope I’ve left a stronger legacy so that will never happen at Apple,” he added.

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