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The Globe and Mail

Jobs biography: 'I wanted my kids to know me'

Tributes to the late Steve Jobs are posted at an Apple Store in Kuala Lumpur October 7, 2011.

BAZUKI MUHAMMAD/Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters

Steve Jobs, in pain and too weak to climb stairs a few weeks before his death, wanted his children to understand why he wasn't always there for them, according to the author of his highly anticipated biography.

"I wanted my kids to know me," Mr. Jobs was quoted as saying by Pulitzer Prize nominee Walter Isaacson, when he asked the Apple Inc. co-founder why he authorized a tell-all biography after living a private, almost ascetic life.

"I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did," Mr. Jobs told Mr. Isaacson in their final interview at Mr. Jobs' home in Palo Alto, California.

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Mr. Isaacson said he visited Mr. Jobs for the last time a few weeks ago and found him curled up in some pain in a downstairs bedroom. Mr. Jobs had moved there because he was too weak to go up and down stairs, "but his mind was still sharp and his humour vibrant," Mr. Isaacson wrote in an essay on that will be published in the magazine's Oct. 17 edition.

Mr. Jobs died Wednesday at the age of 56 after a long battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

Outpourings of sympathy swept across the globe as state leaders, business rivals and fans paid respect to the man who touched the daily lives of countless millions through the Macintosh computer, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Mr. Jobs had struggled with health issues but said very little about his battle with cancer since an operation in 2004. When he stepped down in August, handing the CEO reins to long-time operations chief Tim Cook, Mr. Jobs said simply that he could no longer fulfill his duties as chief executive.

Apple has been similarly guarded about the circumstances of his death, saying only that their chairman was surrounded by his wife Laurene and immediate family. Mr. Jobs had four children from two relationships.

Mr. Jobs himself was given up for adoption soon after his birth in San Francisco to an American mother, Joanne Carole Schieble, and a Syrian-born father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali.

Funeral arrangements have not been disclosed and it is uncertain when the company will hold a planned "celebration" of Mr. Jobs' life. Officials in Sacramento said there will be no state or public funeral.

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With an estimated net worth of $7 billion – including a 7 per cent stake in Walt Disney Co – it was not known how Mr. Jobs' estate would be handled.

The entrepreneur had sometimes been criticized for not wielding his enormous influence and wealth for philanthropy like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. His death revived speculation that some of his estate might be donated to cancer research groups or hospitals.

California law requires a will to be filed in probate court within 30 days of death.

Mr. Jobs and his wife placed at least three properties into trusts in 2009, which legal experts say is a sign he may have been preparing his assets to remain confidential upon his death.

Placing stock and real estate into trusts can both minimize estate taxes upon a person's death, and keep them from being publicly disclosed in probate court, said John O'Grady, a trusts and estates attorney in San Francisco.

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