SAN FRANCISCO Steve Jobs had a disdain for people who put profits first. In an upcoming authorized biography of the late Apple CEO, he calls the crop of executives brought in to run Apple after his ouster in 1985 corrupt people with corrupt values who cared only about making money.
Jobs was often bullied in school and stopped going to church at age 13, according to Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, which will be published Monday by Simon & Schuster. The Associated Press purchased a copy Thursday. Advance sales of the biography have topped best-seller lists since Jobs died Oct. 5 after a long battle with cancer at age 56.
As a teenager, Jobs exhibited some odd behaviors he began to try various diets, eating just fruits and vegetables for a time, and perfected staring at others without blinking. Later, on the naming of Apple, Jobs told Isaacson he was on one of my fruitarian diets.
Hed just come back from an apple farm, and he thought the name sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating.
Much of the book adds detail to whats already known, or at least speculated, about Jobs. While Isaacson is not the first to tell Jobs story, he had unprecedented access to the man who fiercely guarded his own, as well as his companys, privacy. Isaacson interviewed Jobs more than 40 times, including just a few weeks before his death. As a result, the book does for Steve Jobs legacy what Apple did for portable music players, personal computers and tablets puts it in the hands of regular folks, not just the tech geeks who already live and breathe all-things-Apple.
Jobs reveals in the book that he didnt want to go to college, and the only school he applied to was costly private college Reed in Portland, Ore. Once accepted, his parents tried to talk him out of attending Reed, but he told them he wouldnt go to college at all if they didnt let him go there. Though he ended up attending, Jobs dropped out of the school after less than a year and never went back.
His pre-Apple job as a technician at Atari paid $5 per hour. He saw a classified ad in the San Jose Mercury News, went to visit the company and informed them he wouldnt leave unless they hired him.
Jobs, who spent years studying Zen Buddhism, never went back to church after he saw a photo of starving children on the cover of Life Magazine and asked his Sunday school pastor if God knew what would happen to them. He was 13 at the time.
Jobs eye for simple, clean design was evident from early on. The case of the Apple II computer had originally included a Plexiglas cover, metal straps and a roll-top door. Jobs, though, wanted something elegant that would make Apple stand out. He told Isaacson he was struck by Cuisinart food processors while browsing at a department store and decided he wanted a case made of molded plastic.
He called Jonathan Ive, Apples design chief, his spiritual partner at Apple. He told Isaacson Ive had more operation power at Apple than anyone besides Jobs himself that theres no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do. That, says Jobs, is the way I set it up.
Jobs was never a typical CEO. Apples first president, Mike Scott, was hired mainly to manage Jobs, then 22. One of his first projects: getting Jobs to bathe more often. It didnt really work.
Jobs dabbling in LSD and other aspects of 1960s counterculture has been well documented. In the book, Jobs says LSD reinforced my sense of what was important creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.
In the early 1990s, after Jobs was ousted from Apple, he watched the companys gradual decline from afar. He was angered by the new crop of people brought in to run Apple, and he called them corrupt.
He told Issacson they cared only about making money for themselves mainly, and also for Apple rather than making great products.
He also revealed that the Beatles is one of his favorite bands, and one of his wishes was to get the band on iTunes before he died. He got them available for sale on iTunes in late 2010. Until then, the biggest-selling, most influential group in rock history has been glaringly absent from iTunes and other legal online music services.
The book was originally called iSteve and scheduled to come out in March 2012. The release date was moved up to November, then, after Jobs death, to this coming Monday.
The book says Jobs put no subject off limits and had no control over its contents.