Steve Jobs: Saint or Sinner?


From Rupert Murdoch to Mark Zuckerberg, the reputations of the heads of billion-dollar grossing multi-national companies always seem to hover close to scandal but are regularly offered a last-minute reprieve when they grace news conferences with their dazzling smiles and cheesy anecdotes. Apple founder Steve Jobs seemed to fall firmly into the ‘saint as opposed to sinner’ category as we shared his battle with cancer and whooped for joy as he banished our laptops to the pc graveyard in favour of their arch enemy, the tablet.

But could the same man who created the god-like entity that is the iPad have hidden a more sinister past? According to FBI files gathered on Steve Jobs, the answer may be an uncomfortable ‘yes’.

Under George W Bush’s administration in 1991, Jobs made a hitherto unrevealed bid to become a presidential candidate and, as a would-be head of state, the FBI did what it does best and investigated him as thoroughly as an iPhone processes data.

Their findings? That Jobs’ moral scruples were a bit sketchy and that he had dabbled in drug use, including LSD, in the 1970s.

“Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals,” said a summary of the FBI background check.

The other side of the coin unearthed a conversion to Buddhism. A real conundrum it seems.

But the release of the documents on the FBS’s website on Thursday isn’t the first time someone dared to put a dent in Job’s ‘holier than thou’ image.

A former business associate who felt disgruntled that he didn’t get his hands on wealthy Apple stock that he felt was due to him, had already called Jobs’ character into question. He found the former Apple head to be an “honest and trustworthy individual; however, his moral character is questionable.”

Jobs died in October 2011 after several years battling cancer.

We’re always warned not to speak ill of the dead and, as I type away to the sounds of my iTunes playlist, I feel a warm glow that I will never have to spend more than a pretty penny on the music I love. I for one know I definitely won’t be joining the ‘demonise Steve Jobs’ bandwagon.

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