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All the Best Leaks from the Steve Jobs Biography

Illustration for article titled All the Best Leaks from the Steve Jobs Biography

Advance copies of the hotly anticipated Steve Jobs biography are already in some hands—meaning personal details we never knew about the man are exposed for the first time. Fights with Obama over food, diamond rings, and DNA sequencing.

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He and Obama didn't get along

HuffPo relays the biography's account of a particularly uncomfortable meeting between the Apple chief and the Command in Chief:

Though his wife told him that Obama "was really psyched to meet with you," Jobs insisted on the personal invitation, and the standoff lasted for five days. When he finally relented and they met at the Westin San Francisco Airport, Jobs was characteristically blunt. He seemed to have transformed from a liberal into a conservative.

"You're headed for a one-term presidency," he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where "regulations and unnecessary costs" make it difficult for them.

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Jobs went on to call for teachers' unions to be disbanded. Obama later invited Jobs to a Silicon Valley exec dinner party, but the two butted heads over the fare: Jobs said the menu was too "fancy," taking particular offense to a chocolate truffle desert. "But [Jobs] was overruled by the White House, which cited the president's fondness for cream pie."

He met his real father by accident, then feared him

Oddly, it turned out Steve's biological dad owned a restaurant he'd frequented many times. The two had greeted each other not even knowing they were related. But after the revelation, Jobs wanted nothing to do with him, out of pure paranoia:

Nevertheless Jobs still had no desire to see him. "I was a wealthy man by then, and I didn't trust him not to try to blackmail me or go to the press about it."

He spent tons on cancer treatment

Although he spurned it at first, once he'd given in to mainstream medicine, Jobs spared no expense—he was one of the few people ever to have a personal DNA sequence compiled on their cancerous and normal DNA, the NYT says:

The DNA sequencing that Mr. Jobs ultimately went through was done by a collaboration of teams at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Harvard and the Broad Institute of MIT. The sequencing, Mr. Isaacson writes, allowed doctors to tailor drugs and target them to the defective molecular pathways.

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He won his wife back with a diamond ring

After Jobs met his soon-to-be wife, she moved out because of "maddening behavior." His solution? "The next month, Mr. Isaacson writes, he gave her a diamond engagement ring, and she moved back in. Eventually they married."

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And there's such an immense amount of intimate strangeness that hasn't been revealed yet—not until Walter Isaacson's book comes out on the 24th. But from the above, you can already see the portrait of a man devoid of keynote charm. An autocrat behind closed doors, stubborn enough to defy both the president and cancer itself. He wanted to destroy Google. He at times eschewed modern medicine. He forced a promise from Yo-Yo Ma to play at his funeral, years in advance. He took his inspiration for the Mac from a Cuisinart, the AP says. He named his entire company after a day trip he'd taken to an Apple orchard.

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Whatever we know about Jobs as a bizarre, world historical, tyrannical genius, the biography will soon expand and vivify. [AP and HuffPo and NYT]

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DISCUSSION

aimattheface
BostonTerror

I always find it hilarious when some "undisputed genius" can be so stupid when it comes to certain aspects of their lives. He claims to herald technology and science, but doesnt trust modern medicine?

Also, his understanding of policy and the President's actual effect on it is clearly delusional. Even if Obama was in 100% agreement with Jobs (he probably isnt) he cant just wave a magic wand and have the policies change. This is of course not to mention the fact that Jobs is such a megalomaniac that he is completely convinced that he knows how to solve all of the US's problems.

Jobs was good at what he did, but he seems to have a tendency to overreach into areas that he lacks any sort of substantive expertise in. I suppose he was so completely convinced of his own genius that he thought he could apply it to everything.