No one has counted the number of times Steve Job was on a magazine cover (though he made eight on Time magazine), but he had a public image that personified innovation and was the public face of Apple. He jealously guarded his privacy and his personal life was strictly off-limits.
But the personal was there and Lisen Stromberg’s article (which has long gone viral) paints a fascinating portrait, one of a neighbor who dressed up like Frankenstein for Halloween, went to Parent/Teachers nights, and shed tears at his son’s graduation:
While Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal and CNET continue to drone on about the impact of the Steve Jobs era, I won’t be pondering the MacBook Air I write on or the iPhone I talk on. I will think of the day I saw him at his son’s high school graduation. There Steve stood, tears streaming down his cheeks, his smile wide and proud, as his son received his diploma and walked on into his own bright future, leaving behind a good man and a good father who can be sure of the rightness of this, perhaps his most important legacy of all.
Despite the sharp divide between the public and the personal, Jobs description of meeting his wife Laurene shows that the same impulsiveness and focus that drove his work at Apple was at the heart of his personal life:
I was in the parking lot with the key in the car, and I thought to myself, ‘If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman?’ I ran across the parking lot, asked her if she’d have dinner with me. She said yes, we walked into town and we’ve been together ever since.
Some of the magazine covers here: