Steve Jobs Experienced Extreme Regret In The Final Days Before His Death, Saying, 'I Wanted My Kids To Know Me. I Wasn't Always Here For Them, And I Wanted Them To Know Why And To Understand What I Did'


Steve Jobs, renowned as one of the most influential and visionary leaders of this time, left an indelible mark on technology and innovation. His work at Apple Inc. redefined the landscape of consumer electronics, establishing him as a symbol of success and creativity. 

Yet, in his final days, as he battled a rare form of pancreatic cancer, Jobs revealed a more introspective side, expressing some regrets, particularly regarding his family.

In the weeks leading up to his death in 2011, Jobs, grappling with severe pain and weakness, sought to share a deeper understanding of his life with his children. This desire led him to collaborate with author Walter Isaacson on a comprehensive biography. Jobs wanted to offer his children insights into his life, to explain his absences and to help them comprehend the choices he made. 

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"I wanted my kids to know me," Jobs told Isaacson. "I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did." 

Isaacson, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, recounted his last visit to Jobs. He found Jobs in considerable discomfort, confined to a downstairs bedroom because of his inability to climb stairs. Despite his physical decline, Jobs’ intellect remained sharp, and his wit was as vibrant as ever. Isaacson’s observations, shared on, shed light on the tech icon's struggles and reflections.

Initially diagnosed with cancer in 2003, Jobs delayed surgery, a decision he expressed regret over to his biographer. At first, Jobs found the idea of surgery too invasive and opted for alternative treatments like acupuncture, dietary supplements, and juices.

This delay in seeking conventional medical treatment was a critical period in Jobs’ fight against cancer. The cancer, a neuroendocrine islet tumor, was discovered during a CT scan for kidney stones. Although this form of cancer was among the 5% that are slow-growing and potentially curable, Jobs' initial refusal of surgery complicated his condition.


For nine months following his diagnosis, Jobs remained steadfast in his decision, much to the bewilderment and concern of his wife and close friends, who strongly advocated for the surgery. Isaacson, reflecting on these moments, shared that Jobs later acknowledged the gravity of his decision. 

“I didn’t want my body to be opened. … I didn’t want to be violated in that way,” Jobs said, about his initial aversion to the surgery.

Despite eventually agreeing to the surgery and exploring cutting-edge experimental treatments, the delayed intervention proved to be a significant factor in his health battle. Jobs' journey through his illness, as recounted by Isaacson, reveals a complex interplay of personal beliefs, fear and the harsh realities of facing a life-threatening disease. 

Jobs’ honest admissions in his final days highlight a universal dilemma faced by many, especially parents. The challenge of balancing professional success with family responsibilities is a tightrope walk. Jobs’ reflections echo the sentiments of countless others who find themselves torn between achieving career milestones and being present for their children. In today’s fast-paced world, this struggle for a work-life balance is more pronounced than ever.

His regrets, shared in those last few weeks, serve as a powerful message to all parents about the importance of balancing life’s various demands, a lesson that extends far beyond the realm of technology and business success.

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