STEVE JOBS CAUGHT A TRAIN TO A STAR AT AGE 56

LOOK FOR STEVE JOBS’ (d. 10/05/11) MEMOIR in about two weeks, October 24, 2011.  The title of the book is Steve Jobs. The previous title was iSteve: The Book of Jobs. His biographer is Walter Isaacson, an author who has written a biography of Benjamin Franklin. The publisher is Simon & Schuster, and they accelerated the release date from the previous November 21st. I am sensitive to this publishing acceleration concept, in that I have a memoir on file with CreateSpace Publishing, and I am waiting for editors to release my proofs. Deadline is Friday, October 14th.

According to an article in last Friday’s New York Times, October 7, 2011, Section B (Business), Steve’s biographer asked him why he, so private a man, had consented to the questions of someone writing the memoir. The article said he gave forty interviews.  Steve’s reply was, “I wanted my kids to know me. I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”

Steve Jobs With Apple II Personal Computer in 1977

That’s pretty much it– an individual desires to leave an account of the life lived as best the individual could figure out how to live. We can’t even be sure that our children, our spouse, our siblings, our cousins will read the book of our life slanted our way. But we know that a few friends will, and that if the promotional writing on Amazon.com is effective, some strangers will. That is the job before me– to post some marketing verbiage on the CreateSpace site that will at the appropriate time transfer to Amazon.com. I look forward to holding my first book, approximately 5-1/4 inches by 8 inches, more than a couple of hundred pages, in my hand, a memoir entitled Ann, Patricia, Zelma, Beulah: Our 42,224 Days, and imagining loved ones and strangers alike reading it.

I am interested in the fact that Walter Isaacson, Mr. Jobs’ memoirist, chose to write a book about Benjamin Franklin. My book in two volumes about the life of Ben Franklin is entitled Benjamin Franklin: A Biography in His Own Words. It was published in 1972 by Yale University Press. Thomas Fleming and Editors of the Newsweek Book Division finished the writing Ben Franklin began. In the front of the book there is some interesting reading. The legend is that in 1788, friends urged Ben to complete the task of his famous Autobiography, begun a quarter of a century earlier. Ben’s writing was interrupted by the Revoution. Ben told his friends he was too busy living his life to write about it. (This cuts close to home!)  Ben Franklin died in 1790 having written about only the first half of his extraordinarily long and active career. He bequeathed his papers to his grandson William Temple Franklin. More than a quarter of a century passed before he produced Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin in three volumes in London in 1817. I must share a fascinating anecdote found in the Introduction of my Volume 1:  As was already mentioned, Ben laid aside his writing that was begun in 1771. It was in the form of a long letter to his son William, and it was autographed. The British occupied Philadelphia in 1777, and they requisitioned the house that Ben (arch-rebel) owned, for officers’ quarters. In the confusion of the time, the manuscript was thrown out, but rescued from the street by the sheerest chance– an old friend of Ben’s saw it lying in the gutter and recognized the handwriting. Encouraged by friends who read the manuscript, Ben resumed writing at Passy, France in 1784, where he showed portions of it to his French friends, among them M. Le Villard, mayor of the village. Not giving you all the details of the trading of manuscripts between Le Villard and Ben’s son, I will close with the fascinating fact that our American patriot, our founding father’s memoir was first published in French in 1791! It was promptly translated into English.

Many thousands of letters and other papers had been given by Ben’s grandson to a friend, Dr. George Fox of the Philadelphia area. Those manuscripts descended to his son, who stored them in a stable, and from time to time would extract samples to give to his housequests. Eventually he gave the entire collection to the American Philosophical Society. Finishing the tangental interest in an American hero of the past, I return to write more about a hero of today, the late Steve Jobs of Palo Alto, California, CEO and co-founder of Apple, Inc., home based in Cupertino, California, producer of the iPhone, iPod, iMac, and iPad.

MY FIRST CELLPHONE: Nokia Handset

The iPhone 4S, released October 4, 2011, the day before Steve Jobs died, is the newest of the Apple frequent-product-cycle refreshers. It is a smartphone I want to own. I am eligible for an upgrade, and have completed research comparing the Android Galaxy 2 at the Sprint retail store with the iPhone I really want, being a MacBook Pro satisfied user, and being the only one in my family who has not owned one. I hope to have the 4S in my hand on Friday, October 14th, the same watershed day my memoir proofs are promised from CreateSpace Independent Publishing Company. Taking my time to consider this phone in comparison to the best-selling worldwide Android on Google’s operating system (ironically, I am a Google stockholder), I settled on the choice of elegant design with which Apple is associated. Steve Jobs in the 1970s emerged as a rescuer of our culture’s design possibilities that were termed “boring” by architectural minds. Steve said that the technology the public was being presented with (by Microsoft) lacked good taste. Perhaps Jonathan Ive, Apple industrial design chief since 1996, should be acknowledged. He is said to be a background worker who revitalized the line of Apple products and is known for attention to detail.

From what I understand, the new iPhone 4S has a faster microprocessor than the 4. Time will tell if I get interested in apps. If so, my new phone will run them at high speed. I know already that I want the app that measures decibels of sound. Now, can I get a heart-rate monitor on this smartphone? A feature I definitely am into is photography by phone handset, and the 4S has a more powerful camera than the 4. Otherwise, this new edition is the 4, a great phone, say retail people. I enjoyed selecting a red case, and it wasn’t easy, considering the large selection of protective boxes and covers, and then I exchanged it for white. Soon I will enter a bright new world, kissing goodbye my Sprint Instinct of four or more years, a great little handset.

STEVE JOBS GOT HIS LIVER TRANSPLANT IN MEMPHIS IN 2009. His hospital was Methodist University Hospital and his surgeon was Dr. James Eason. Steve moved into a stately house to live in on Morningside Drive of midtown, remodeled to lessen noise of traffic from East Parkway and FedEx jet noise from the overhead flight pattern. The new liver gave him thirty more months of life, and Steve spoke so highly of his children that we imagine him back in Palo Alto at home talking with them and exchanging hugs in those last months. Steve was quoted as saying that having four children was 10,000 times better than anything he had ever done.

Any readers out there buying memoirs on Amazon.com this fall and winter– Steve’s, or mine? It would be so nice if you posted a comment! Thank you for considering the idea.

2 thoughts on “STEVE JOBS CAUGHT A TRAIN TO A STAR AT AGE 56

  1. It is an interesting and fair comparison between Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs. Both men were great inventors and some of the brightest minds of their times. However I feel that, perhaps because we always remember people more fondly at the time of their death, the media (patnotes included) is giving Jobs a bit more credit than he deserves. Time will show that Ben Franklin was far more influential in the history of the United States (he played a large role in founding the country after all) and the world. Franklin was a visionary and a polymath driven by ethos and while Jobs was an excellent designer, he was primarily a businessman driven by ego.

    • DS,
      Thank you for your response; I really appreciate your taking the time to write your view. Yes, it makes a lot of sense, your saying that at the point of death, the public figure is likely to be over-acclaimed. The reviews of his memoir are positive on Amazon. (I’ve ordered.) Thoughts about Steve run to the concept of dualism in human nature, very interesting. It is said he was generous and committed to the greater good, and it is said that he forgot those working at the bottom of his company’s hierarchy (as compared to new structure such as Google has). We know one big difference: Ben Franklin was beginning his memoir in his mid-seventies and thus had about two more decades of influence than Steve Jobs.

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