Appreciating all that makes America special

Person: Steve Jobs

He was young, good-looking, smart, rich, and well-coiffed. He's still smart and rich. Uploaded by

Steve Jobs is just one of the people whose innovative thinking led to our immersion in computers in every phase of our lives. He didn’t invent the personal computer, but he made it stylish, fresh, fun, and cool.

Of course, lots of people contribute to the creation of any product or company, but it’s not a stretch to assert that without Steve Jobs, there would be no user-friendly personal computer. (He developed the first, Apple Macintosh.) No miniature music player. (He created the iPod.) No online music store where virtually any song can be found and owned. (iTunes is his baby). No Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., or Cars. (He changed Pixar from a computer graphics company into a movie studio.) And no cell phone with a touch screen that could perform thousands of tasks. (The iPhone is revolutionizing the cell phone industry.)

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Jobs has surely made over a billion dollars personally from these inventions. As you’d probably expect, anyone with such an obsession with excellence is a Type A personality, and it’s said Jobs isn’t the easiest person to work for. Someone once said, “He would have made an excellent king of France.” In recent years, however, he’s experienced health problems, having to undergo a liver transplant in early 2009. Perhaps a greater recognition of his mortality has helped to mellow this genius out.

He’s received a slew of honors, including being named most powerful person in business by Fortune Magazine in 2007. And in November, 2009 the magazine selected Jobs as CEO of the Decade. He summed up his business philosophy this way: “There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.”


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