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Steve Jobs’ biography reveals the Apple CEO’s portrait in private

by Nicole
October 22, 2011 at 9:16 am

The biography of the legendary Steve Jobs, set to be released Monday in the U.S. , portrays a complex man who has always refused to meet his biological father and didn’t hesitate to criticize President Barack Obama on their first meeting.

“I wanted my kids to know me,” biographer Walter Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying in their final interview. “I wasn’t always there for them and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”

Meeting Obama

In the 630-page authorized biography, Isaacson said that Jobs offered to design political ads for Obama’s 2012 campaign despite proving to be critical of the administration.

According to the Huffington Post, he actually refused an invitation to dinner because he wanted the American president to call him in person.

“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he warned Obama when they finally met last year, saying that the administration needed to be more business-friendly.

To exemplify, he talked about how easy it is for companies to build factories in China compared to the United States , where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult to do so.

In addition, he criticized the education system which he said was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson.

“Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.”

Criticizing Bill Gates

Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, was not exempt from criticism, according to extracts from the biography.

Despite his admiration for him, Gates found Steve “fundamentally odd” and “weirdly flawed as a human being,” and criticized his tendency to be “either in the mode of saying you were shit or trying to seduce you.”

In time however, he grew to respect Jobs. “He really never knew much about technology, but he had an amazing instinct for what works,” he said.

However, the Microsoft competitor never changed his opinions.

“Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”

Relationship with his biological parents

Adopted at birth by a couple in California , Jobs eventually found his father, a Syrian-born American named Abdulfattah Janda, who owned a Mediterranean restaurant north of San Jose, where the Apple CEO has often dined.

“It was amazing,” Jobs later said of the meeting. “I had been to that restaurant a few times, and I remember meeting the owner. He was Syrian. Balding. We shook hands.”

However, he eventually decided to remain estranged from his father.

“I was a wealthy man by then, and I didn’t trust him not to try to blackmail me or go to the press about it.”

During the Oct. 23 episode interview on “60 Minutes”, Isaacson reveals that he found Jobs’s decision to initially skip surgery for his pancreatic cancer shocking.

“I’ve asked [Jobs why he didn't get an operation then] and he said, ‘I didn’t want my body to be opened … I didn’t want to be violated in that way,’” Isaacson revealed.

The first interview about the “Steve Jobs” biography airs Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS.

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