People keep sharing the wisdom in the Last Words of Steve Jobs, but guess what – they are all LIES!
Take a look at the famous last words that Steve Jobs allegedly said, and find out what the FACTS really are!
Updated @ 2023-04-29 : Updated with additional information
Originally posted @ 2021-09-15
Claim : These Are The Last Words of Steve Jobs!
This is the famous Last Words of Steve Jobs that have been shared by hundreds of thousands of people on websites, social media and email chain letters.
It’s a very long article, so just skip to the next section for the facts!
Last Words of Steve Jobs
I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.
However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.
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Truth : Those Are Not The Last Words of Steve Jobs!
The truth is – this is a fake story probably created by a fan to lionise Steve Jobs, or a fake news website to make money off his name.
Fact #1 : Those Were Not The Last Words Of Steve Jobs
It is really not possible for a dying Steve Jobs to wax lyrical and say so much.
At the end, he just muttered monosyllables, repeated three times – OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW. That’s it.
This was what his sister, Mona Simpson, revealed in her New York Times eulogy :
Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.
Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
Steve’s final words were: OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.
Fact #2 : Steve Jobs Was Not On Life Support
Steve Jobs was not on any life support. Although his family has been very private about his final days, we do know that he was not being kept alive by a mechanical ventilator.
If he was being kept alive by a mechanical ventilator, he wouldn’t be able to say “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” as his sister revealed were his true last words.
In fact, on August 11, 2011 – less than two months before he died, Steve Jobs asked Tim Cook to visit him. As recounted in Tim Cook’s book – Becoming Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs was more than capable of talking lucidly even then :
He told me he had decided that I should be CEO. I thought then that he thought he was going to live a lot longer when he said this, because we got into a whole level of discussion about what would it mean for me to be CEO with him as a chairman. I asked him, ‘What do you really not want to do that you’re doing?’
“It was an interesting conversation,” Cook says, with a wistful laugh. “He says, ‘You make all the decisions.’ I go, ‘Wait. Let me ask you a question.’ I tried to pick something that would incite him. So I said, ‘You mean that if I review an ad and I like it, it should just run without your okay?’ And he laughed and said, ‘Well, I hope you’d at least ask me!’
I asked him two or three times, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ because I saw him getting better at that point in time. I went over there often during the week, and sometimes on the weekends. Every time I saw him he seemed to be getting better. He felt that way as well. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.”
Finally, if he was really kept alive by a mechanical ventilator, it would have kept him alive. He wouldn’t have died of respiratory arrest, which was the immediate cause of death.
The fact that he did indeed die of respiratory arrest is evidence that he was not on artificial respiration.
Fact #3 : Steve Jobs Did Not Die In A Hospital
Steve Jobs died at home, not in a hospital. The New York Times noted :
In his final months, Mr. Jobs’s home — a large and comfortable but relatively modest brick house in a residential neighborhood — was surrounded by security guards. His driveway’s gate was flanked by two black S.U.V.’s.
We don’t have an exact date for when he was confined to his home for his last days, but we do know that by August 11, 2011, he was permanently at home :
“He said, ‘I want to talk to you about something,’ ” remembers Cook. “This was when he was home all the time, and I asked when, and he said, ‘Now.’”
Fact #4 : Steve Jobs’ Last Words Were Never Mentioned In Any Biography
Steve Jobs had an official biography written by Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs, ISBN 978-1501127625), who was given unprecedented access to his personal life, including over 40 interviews with Steve Jobs himself.
If Steve Jobs wanted to pass along such a message, he would have done it in that book. There is no mention of such a message in that biography.
He also had many books written about him :
- Steve Jobs : The Man In The Machine,
- Steve Jobs : The Man Who Thought Different,
- Becoming Steve Jobs : The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader,
- Steve Jobs : His Story, etc.
None of them mentioned those last words.
Fact #5 : Steve Jobs Did Not Believe In God
The fake quote refers to God twice, which Steve would never do because he did not believe in God.
He was a Zen Buddhist, not the Lutheran Christian he was brought up to be. Buddhism is a religion, but their adherents do not believe in God or gods.
Fact #6 : Steve Jobs Was A Perfectionist
The fake story is replete with bad grammar. That is something Steve Jobs would never condone, being the perfectionist that he was. Needless to say, the writing style was not his either.
Fact #7 : Steve Jobs Was Not Afraid Of Death
The fake story claimed that Steve Jobs regretted spending his life in the pursuit of success at the expense of his family.
This cannot be further from the truth. Steve Jobs not only embraced his impending demise, he used it to spur him to make the most of his time left.
During his famous commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, he said that “Death is very likely the single best invention of life“.
He then expounded on using that knowledge that our impending deaths to spur ourselves to greater heights, and to do what we really want to do in life :
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Fact #8 : Steve Jobs Did Not Pursue Wealth
The story of the inspiring last words of Steve Jobs alluded to a mindless pursuit of wealth. That cannot be further from the truth, because Steve Jobs earned a cool annual salary of $1 since he returned to a struggling Apple in 1997.
He was not the only corporate executive to do this, of course, as they can be compensated through alternate means like bonuses, stock options, etc. Steve Jobs was notable, though, for not taking any alternative form of compensation since 2003.
He took virtually nothing in compensation for his time and effort at Apple because he was not pursuing wealth, but his vision. His wealth, and his position at Apple, were the means to the end, not the goal itself.
Help Us Kill The Fake Last Words Of Steve Jobs!
No matter whether you are a Steve Jobs fan, or just someone who loves an inspirational story, help us kill this fake story!
Many people tell us that it’s okay to create fake stories like that, because “the message is more important than the truth“.
Do we really want to teach our children that it’s moral to tell lies about other people, as long as if it’s for a good reason?
The truth is – these fake stories are being propagated by clickbait websites to generate money. Stop funding the creation of fake news.
STOP SHARING THIS FAKE NEWS! SHARE THIS FACT CHECK INSTEAD!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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