Steve Jobs was already gravely ill with cancer when he asked author Walter Isaacson to write his biography. Jobs told Isaacson to write a honest book – about his failings and his strengths. Steve Kroft reports. Graham Messick is the Producer. Coleman Cowan is the Associate Producer.
60 Minutes (Oct. 23, 2011)
Seven years ago, Steve Jobs asked Walter Isaacson, a former editor of Time Magazine, if he would write his biography. Isaacson, who has written books about Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, thought the request presumptuous and premature, since Jobs was still a young man. What Isaacson didn’t know at the time, and only a few people did, was that Jobs was about to undergo surgery for pancreatic cancer and was feeling his mortality. It speaks to the secrecy with which Jobs conducted his life and his business, adding mystery to an already compelling figure.
In 2009, with Jobs already gravely ill, Isaacson began the first of more than 40 interviews with him. The last was conducted a few weeks before his death. Some of them were tape-recorded, and you will hear parts of them in our story. “I have no skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out,” Jobs said. And like a well-timed Apple launch, the book titled simply, Steve Jobs, will be in stores tomorrow, just two-and-a-half weeks after he died.