updated 08:20 pm EDT, Sun October 23, 2011
60 Minutes posts Isaacson chat on Jobs biography
CBS' 60 Minutes has posted its full interview (embedded below) with Walter Isaacson discussing his imminent biography of the late Steve Jobs. The clips both include the full video in two parts as well as extras, such as Jobs' views about rivals and the family photo album. Among the comments are a few revelations and commentaries, mentioned below to avoid spoilers.
Isaacson in the discussion confirmed that Jobs' cancer had moved to his liver. It had started in his pancreas and was seemingly cured, but it's now known to have spread. Jobs had a liver transplant in 2009 that bought him time but ultimately didn't avert his long-term condition.
Many other details have been publicized in the run-up to the book's availability. Jobs is now known to have inadvertently met his biological father, Abdulfattah Jandali, before either of them realized they were connected. He ended up staying distant after finding out about Jandali's background, most likely his decision to quit his family. "I didn't like what I learned," Jobs said to Isaacson.
In wrapping up the interview, Isaacson recalled a discussion with Jobs about the realization he would die. To the Apple co-founder, facing death tied into Apple's design philosophy: he didn't like the idea of a sudden end to himself and translated that to his products. He also revealed a slight religious side, slightly running against his reputation as embracing Zen Buddhism during one point of his life.
"I remember sitting in his backyard in his garden one day and he started talking about God," Isaacson recalled. "He said, 'Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don't. I think it's 50-50 maybe. But ever since I've had cancer, I've been thinking about it more. And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of- maybe it's 'cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn't just all disappear. The wisdom you've accumulated. Somehow it lives on, but sometimes I think it's just like an on-off switch. Click and you're gone.' He said -- paused again, and he said, 'And that's why I don't like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.'"
The biography, simply titled Steve Jobs, goes on sale at the iBookstore October 24 and is already available for those in Asia and Europe.