'Death is the best invention'

Oct 07, 2011, 09:38 IST | Agencies

Said Steve Jobs in an address at Stanford University after receiving surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2005. At the age of 56, Jobs died yesterday

Said Steve Jobs in an address at Stanford University after receiving surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2005. At the age of 56, Jobs died yesterday

Steve Jobs, who overcame steep odds as an adopted child and a college dropout, spoke in great length about his own mortality more than six years ago after the world-changing success of the iPod music player.

The day Apple went black: An Apple store in Paris paid tribute to the
Steve Jobs, the innovator of the century, by unfurling a black flag.
Social networking sites were clogged with eulogies for the genius. Pic/afp

The Apple co-founder and former CEO, who rescued the company in 1998 following his ouster 13 years earlier, was diagnosed in 2003 with a neuroendocrine tumor, a rare form of pancreatic cancer, and had a liver transplant in 2009.

He died yesterday, 24 hours after Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, whom Jobs hand-picked as the company's leader, unveiled the latest iteration of the phenomenally successful iPhone.

Jobs, a hard-charging executive who delved into the nuts and bolts of engineering and marketing, foreshadowed his own passing during a memorable commencement address at Stanford University. The tech visionary, had described death as "the single best invention of life."

Still, Jobs avoided talk of illness and death, as when he took medical leaves of absence from Apple without disclosing details.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Laurene Powell, and their three children.

Excerpts from the speech
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything just falls away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Timeline: From Mac to i-Pad
1976: Jobs co-founds Apple
1980: Apple's stock market flotation, biggest since Ford in 1956
1985: Leaves Apple to concentrate on Pixar and NeXT
1997: Returns to Apple
2000: Resumes as Apple CEO
2002: iPod launched
2003: iTunes launched
August 2004: Announces he has pancreatic cancer
2007: iPhone launched
2009: Returns to work six months after taking time off for liver transplant as part of cancer treatment
January 2010: iPad launched
17 January 2011: Announces he is taking a break
11 March 2011: iPad 2 launched
24 August 2011: Jobs resigns as Apple CEO
05 October 2011: iPhone 4S launched

Related News

    Go to top