New book: Tim Cook offered Steve Jobs liver transplant
In yet another example of the public’s insatiable appetite for more stories about Steve Jobs, a biography coming out later this month reveals new details about the intense friendship the Apple co-founder had with current CEO Tim Cook. And it includes a bombshell that Cook once tried unsuccessfully to give up part of his liver in an effort to stave off Jobs’ eventual death in 2011 due to complications from pancreatic cancer.
In “Becoming Steve Jobs,” Cook said he had left Jobs’ house in Palo Alto one day feeling so upset about his friend and colleague’s desperate situation that he had his own blood tested to see if he could be a possible donor match. As it turned out, both men had a rare blood type, and Cook learned it would be possible for him to give up part of his organ. But when Cook stopped by Jobs’ house to make the offer, his friend refused.
“He cut me off at the legs, almost before the words were out of my mouth,” Cook told the authors, veteran technology reporter Brent Schlender and Fast Company executive editor Rick Tetzeli. “‘No,’ he said. ‘I’ll never let you do that. I’ll never do that.’ ”
Unsurprised, Cook saw that reaction as a typically selfless act by Jobs, a man who is largely remembered for an abrasive personality that seemed to be intertwined with his creative genius and business acumen. To Cook, Jobs was hardly the ogre that many Apple watchers may have perceived him to be, and when he read Walter Isaacson’s hefty biography, he felt his departed colleague had once again been misperceived.
Other revelations contained in the new book and that have been written about on Fast Company’s website include Jobs’ close friendship with Disney CEO Bob Iger, who as a result enjoyed rare admittance to Apple design guru Jony Ive’s secret lab.
“There hasn’t yet been a good book about him because he was and Apple is still so secretive,” said Kahney. “The people with the most interesting stories about Steve, the engineers and others who worked side-by-side with him for years, aren’t talking.”
Which means people fascinated by what Jobs was able to do in his life will have to wait to get the truly telling anecdotes that might one day accurately portray the tech visionary.
“This book has Cook and Ive on the record talking about Jobs for the first time in a substantive way, which is great,” said Kahney. “But so far, no one, including Isaacson, has really described how Jobs ran Apple. For example, the iPhone is covered in a single chapter in Isaacson’s book, and there’s no detail whatsoever about the problems and hurdles they had to overcome to bring that product to life.
“That story,” he said, “has yet to be told.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.