Isaacson: Steve Jobs Regretted Postponing Surgery

Walter Isaacson has started sharing details from his soon to be released biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, including the fact that he later regretted waiting so long before undergoing surgery for his pancreas tumor. Mr. Isaacson’s book, which is also the only biography Mr. Jobs ever approved or participated in, will be released on Monday, October 24.

In an interview with the CBS news program 60 Minutes, Mr. Isaacson said, “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.’”

Mr. Jobs waited about nine months before agreeing to the surgery under the urging of his wife and children. He then downplayed his condition and hid the fact that he was undergoing treatment for cancer while telling people he had been cured.

“I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don’t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking…we talked about this a lot,” Mr. Isaacson said. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it….I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.”

Mr. Isaacson spent about two years interviewing Mr. Jobs along with his family, friends, and business colleagues. He conducted more than 40 interviews with Mr. Jobs, and hundreds more with other people from his life and work.

Mr. Jobs passed away on October 5 following a prolonged health battle brought on by a metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor. Mr. Jobs was diagnosed with the tumor in 2003, and later received a liver transplant, too.

Mr. Isaacson will also be appearing on 60 Minutes Sunday evening to talk about the book. The official biography of Steve Jobs is scheduled to ship on October 24 and will be available through book stores as well as and Apple’s iBookstore.