Published October 30, 2011
Mona Simpson, an author and biological sister of Steve Jobs, said her brother’s final words were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow,” in an Oct. 16 eulogy she delivered that was published Sunday in The New York Times.
Simpson remembered the man she first learned about when she was 25, living in New York and working at a small literary magazine. A lawyer had informed her that she had a rich and famous long-lost brother.
The two met, and a relationship emerged.
Simpson, now a novelist and professor at the University of California, remembered her brother being simple but true, a hard worker who didn't flinch at the idea a failing and never bought into gimmicks.
“If he loved a shirt, he’d order 10 or 100 of them,” she said at the Oct.16 service at Stanford University. “In the Palo Alto house, there are probably enough black cotton turtlenecks for everyone in this church.”
She also recalled his philosophy on life: “Fashion is what seems beautiful now but looks ugly later; art can be ugly at first but it becomes beautiful later.”
Jobs, in Simpson’s view, was a romantic, who would often worry about his coworker’s love lives and was a consummate matchmaker. “He believed that love happened all the time, everywhere,” she said.
Jobs eventually grew ill.
The Apple Inc. co-founder died of respiratory arrest resulting from pancreatic cancer that had spread to other organs at age 56 surrounded by family members. Apple did not disclose his cause of death, but Jobs had been in poor health for a number of years.
“Eventually, even ordinary pleasures, like a good peach, no longer appealed to him,” she recalled.
Simpson remembered his final moment, with Jobs glancing toward his family.
“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,” she recalled. “Steve’s final words were, Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.