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Steve Jobs (book)
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
AuthorWalter Isaacson
Original titleiSteve: The Book of Jobs.
Cover artistAlbert Watson
CountryUnited States
PublisherSimon & Schuster (U.S.)
Publication date
October 24, 2011
Media typeE-book, Print (Hardback and Paperback), and Audiobook
Pages656 pp.

Steve Jobs is the authorized biography of Steve Jobs. The biography was written at the request of Jobs by Walter Isaacson, a former executive at CNN and Time who has written best-selling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.[1][2]

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—in addition to interviews with more than one hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Isaacson was given "unprecedented" access to Jobs's life.[3] Jobs is said to have encouraged the people interviewed to speak honestly. Although Jobs cooperated with the book, he asked for no control over its content other than the book's cover, and waived the right to read it before it was published.[4]

The book was released on October 24, 2011 by Simon & Schuster in the United States.[5]


The book's cover photograph is similar to one taken previously by Norman Seeff and featured on Rolling Stone.[6]

Front cover

The front cover uses a photographic portrait of Jobs commissioned by Fortune magazine in 2006 for a portfolio of powerful people. The photograph was taken by Albert Watson.

When the photograph was taken, he said he insisted on having a three hour period to set up his equipment, adding that he wanted to make "[every shoot] as greased lightning fast as possible for the [subject]." When Jobs arrived he didn't immediately look at Watson, but instead at the equipment, focusing on Watson's 4×5 camera before saying "Wow, you're shooting film."[7]

If you look at that shot, you can see the intensity. It was my intention that by looking at him, that you knew this guy was smart. I heard later that it was his favorite photograph of all time.

Albert Watson[7]

Jobs gave Watson an hour—longer than he had given most photographers for a portrait session. Watson reportedly instructed Jobs to make "95 percent, almost 100 percent of eye contact with the camera," and to "think about the next project you have on the table," in addition to thinking about instances when people have challenged him.[7]

The title font is Helvetica.[8]

Back cover

The back cover uses another photographic portrait of Jobs taken in his living room in Woodside, California in February 1984 by Norman Seeff. In a Behind the Cover article published by Time magazine, Seeff recalls him and Jobs "just sitting" on his living room floor, talking about "creativity and everyday stuff," when Jobs left the room and returned with a Macintosh 128K (the original Macintosh computer). Jobs "[plopped] down" in the lotus positionholding the computer in his lap when Seeff took the photograph.[9]

We did do a few more shots later on, and he even did a few yoga poses—he lifted his leg and put it over his shoulder—and I just thought we were two guys hanging out, chatting away, and enjoying the relationship. It wasn't like there was a conceptualization here—this was completely off the cuff, spontaneity that we never thought would become an iconic image.

Norman Seeff[9]

The placeholder cover used for the book uses the working title, iSteve: The Book of Jobs.


The book's working title, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, was chosen by publisher Simon & Schuster's publicity department. Although author Walter Isaacson was "never quite sure about it", his wife and daughter reportedly were. However, they thought it was "too cutesy" and so Isaacson persuaded the publisher to change the title to something "simpler and more elegant."[10]

The title Steve Jobs was allegedly chosen to reflect Jobs's "minimalist" style and to emphasise the biography's authenticity, further differentiating it from unauthorized publications, such as iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business by Jeffrey Young.[11]

Film adaptation

Proposals for the book to be adapted into a feature-length biographical film were announced a few days after Jobs's death.[12] Sony Pictures acquired the rights to the book from author Walter Isaacson. The film is being adapted by Aaron Sorkin and will be based on his own research in addition to or rather than the biography.[13]

In November 2012, Sorkin had stated that the film will not follow the traditional "cradle-to-grave" structure, but instead feature a unique structure consisting of three 30-minute scenes taking place in real time, all of which are "set right before three major product launches."[14] The film's events will take place backstage at press conferences for The Macintosh (in 1984), NeXT (in 1990), and the iPod (in 2001).[15] On April 22, 2014, Sorkin stated that the film "[will not be] a biopic; it’s not the story of Steve Jobs — it’s something much different than that. He’s a fascinating guy — part hero, part antihero."[16]

On January 12, 2014, it was confirmed that Sorkin had finished writing the script.[17] On February 26, 2014, David Fincher, who previously collaborated with Sorkin on The Social Network, entered negotiations to direct the biopic.[18] On March 21, 2014, Fincher stated he will only direct the film if Christian Bale stars in the leading role.[19] On April 14, 2014, it was announced that Fincher dropped out of the project after Sony Pictures was unwilling to give him total marketing control and a $10 million upfront fee.[20] A week later, on April 21, 2014, Danny Boyle entered negotiations to direct the biopic, and hopes to cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Steve Jobs, potentially making this their second collaboration after The Beach.[21]

Other media

Extracts from the biography have been the feature of various magazines, in addition to interviews with the author, Walter Isaacson.[22]

To commemorate Jobs's life after his death on October 5, 2011, Time published a commemorative issue for Jobs on October 8, 2011. The issue's cover featured a portrait of Jobs, taken by Norman Seeff, in which he is sitting in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh computer, which was published in Rolling Stone in January 1984 and is featured on the back cover of Steve Jobs. The issue marked the eighth time Jobs has been featured on the cover of Time.[23]The issue included a photographic essay by Diana Walker, a retrospective on Apple by Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, and a six-page essay by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson's essay served as a preview of Steve Jobs and described Jobs pitching the book to him.[24]

Bloomberg Businessweek also released a commemorative issue of its magazine commemorating the life of Jobs. The cover of the magazine features Apple-like simplicity, with a black-and-white, up close photo of Jobs and his years of birth and death. In tribute to Jobs's minimalist style, the issue was published without advertisements. It featured extensive essays by Steve Jurvetson, John Sculley, Sean Wisely, William Gibson, and Walter Isaacson. Isaacson's essay served as a preview of Steve Jobs.

Fortune featured an exclusive extract of the biography on October 24, 2011. The excerpt focused on the "friend-enemy" relationship that Jobs had with Bill Gates.[25]

Awards and honors


  1. ^ Yin, Sara (August 15, 2011). "Tell-All Steve Jobs Biography Hits Stores on November 21". PC Magazine. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ Gilbert, Jason (August 25, 2011). "Steve Jobs Biography Gets Cover, November Release Date". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ Elmer-DeWitt, Philip (August 16, 2011). "A peek at Steve Jobs' book jacket – front, back and spine". Fortune (CNN Money). Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Olivarez-Giles, Nathan (August 15, 2011). "'Steve Jobs: A Biography' release date is moved up to Nov. 21". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ Ong, Josh (August 15, 2011). "Biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs to arrive in November". AppleInsider. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Steve Jobs Nobody Knew". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Walker, David (October 6, 2011). "Steve Jobs: Visionary, Inventor, and Very Challenging Photo Subject". Photo District News. Nielsen. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ Ong, Josh (August 15, 2011). "Biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs to arrive in November". AppleInsider. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Seeff, Norman (October 6, 2011). "Behind the Cover: Steve Jobs". TIME (Time). Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ Elmer-DeWitt, Philip (July 5, 2011). "Steve Jobs' bio gets a new title". Fortune (CNN Money). Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ Schramm, Mike (July 5, 2011). "Steve Jobs biography gets new title: 'Steve Jobs'". TUAW. AOL. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ Fleming, Mike (October 7, 2011). "Sony Pictures Acquiring New Steve Jobs Biography For Major Feature Film". Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Aaron Sorkin reveals Steve Jobs film plot". BBC. 16 November 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
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  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Weintraub, Seth (October 19, 2011). "Steve Jobs Biographer to be on 60 Minutes Sunday". 9 to 5 Mac. 925. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  23. ^ "TIME's Steve Jobs Covers". Time. April 2, 2010. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  24. ^ Elmer-DeWitt, Philip (October 6, 2011). "The day Steve Jobs called Walter Isaacson". Fortune (CNN Money). Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  25. ^ Weintraub, Seth (October 20, 2011). "Fortune will have exclusive excerpt of Steve Jobs bio Monday focusing on relationship with Bill Gates". 9 to 5 Mac. 925. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  26. ^ Andrew Hill. "Biographies and economics dominate". Financial Times. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 

Steve Jobs News

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    The Economic Times - India - 3 hrs ago
    One would imagine that Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and former CEO of Apple, had a household filled with iPads, iPods, and Mac computers at every corner. Instead, it seems to have been a case of... more
  • How Tim Cook Passed the Test With Flying Colors

    The Huffington Post - Technology - 9 hrs ago
    A year ago, I worried aloud what kind of leader Apple's Tim Cook might be. Still emerging from the death of Steve Jobs, there was a great deal of concern whether he could pick up the mantle of... more
  • Steve Jobs didn't let his kids use iPads - 14 hrs ago
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  • Steven Paul “SteveJobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, who was the co-founder, chairman,... more
  • Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business is an unauthorized biography by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon about the return... more
  • Steve Jobs is the authorized biography of Steve Jobs. The biography was written at the request of Jobs by Walter Isaacson, a former executive at CNN... more

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