Walter Isaacson's biography of the late Steve Jobs has revealed a number of secrets told to him by the Apple co-founder in more than 40 interviews. While some of them are simple, others leave the reader wondering about the tech genius’s sometimes odd life.
Here are 10 revelations in the book:
Close Encounters with his Biological Father: Jobs’ real father, Abdulfattah Jandali is a Syrian immigrant who lived a nomadic life and even once ran a restaurant near Cupertino, Calif. Jobs’ birth sister, Mona Simpson, discovered that although Jobs ate there several times and shook hands with Jandali, neither knew the truth. When he found out, Jobs would always avoid a proper meeting with Jandali.
The Rupert Murdoch Connection: Jobs, unknown to many, formed a friendship with Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdoch in his later years. He even asked the older tycoon to develop content for the iPad. Jobs, to the dismay of many friends, even invited Murdoch to dinner. But Jobs did not share Murdoch's right-wing politics.
Premonitions of Early Death: Jobs, from his younger days, believed he might not have an old age. He confessed that thought, privately, to John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple who fired him in 1985. Jobs felt that there was much he had to accomplish while he was still young.
The iBoat?: Not content with the popularity and success of the iPod, the iPad and the iPhone, Jobs, during his long illness, was designing a ship. It was believed that Jobs took up the project to compete against friend Larry Ellison, who was mad about yachts. The boat itself, however, had minimalist design and technology.
Open Hatred for Android: Jobs always harbored an undercurrent of anger towards Google's Android technology and felt cheated when HTC released an Android phone that imitated many of the iPhone's features. The anger was followed by Apple suing Google. Jobs was so adamant that he pledged to make things right, even if it meant spending his entire life and every penny of Apple's $40 billion. He said he would destroy Android as it was a stolen product and was even willing to wage a thermonuclear war.
Jobs’ Twisted Romance: According to the biography, Jobs dated famous (but not so rich) folk singer Joan Baez. Jobs used to tell her how great she would look in a certain Ralph Lauren dress. So, on one date night, Jobs drove Baez to the store but only to purchase a few shirts for himself. He even went so far as to suggest Baez get the dress herself. Some of the women he dated believed that Jobs suffered from narcissistic personality disorder.
The Killer Decision: Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare type of operable pancreatic cancer in October 2003. But he delayed surgery for nine months and instead adopted a vegan diet and tried alternative forms of therapy. Later, Jobs told Isaacson, regretfully, that he did not want his body to be opened up and hence tried those alternative treatments. That interview ran for an hour and Isaacson later said that Jobs had regretted his decision to delay the operation.
The Bully Called Jobs: Jobs believed that you had to yell at and badmouth your staff seven days a week in order to get optimal performance; he practiced this philosophy openly. This led to the resignation of many employees. Others were fired. Some who stuck around, nonetheless, called their stint at Apple as the best work of their careers.
The Bill Gates Saga: The Apple founder openly showed minimal respect for his rival Bill Gates. He said Gates was unoriginal and had never invented anything. He further added that he felt Gates was more interested in philanthropy than technology and shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas.
The Obsessed Nerd: Jobs, known for his famous turtlenecks, had more than 100 black turtlenecks from the same designer in his closet. Even during his liver transplant operation, he demanded the doctors bring him five models of oxygen masks for testing.