Bloomberg publishes premature Steve Jobs obituary

Steve Jobs has joined the likes of Alfred Nobel, Pope John Paul II, and Fidel Castro in the long list of celebrities whose obituaries have been published prematurely. In this particular case, Gawker reports that Bloomberg accidentally published a 17-page draft obituary for the Apple CEO yesterday afternoon.

The draft says Jobs “helped make personal computers as easy to use as telephones, changed the way animated films are made, persuaded consumers to tune into digital music and refashioned the mobile phone.” After a brief introduction, Bloomberg’s obituary launches into a lengthy overview of Jobs’ life and career, from his adoption to the original Apple Computer and the iPhone. The text is sprinkled with emotional quotes, like one from Bill Gates who in 1998 said of the Apple founder, “In terms of an inspirational leader, Steve Jobs is really the best I’ve ever met.”

More embarrassingly, the draft obituary apparently included contact information for executives and PR staffers at Apple, Pixar, Intel, Google, and others. Oh, and Jobs’ ex-girlfriend. According to Gawker, Bloomberg published the obituary in an attempt to update its internal copy.

Comments closed
    • GreatGooglyMoogly
    • 11 years ago

    17 pages? How can a Steve Jobs obituary fill up 17 pages? Really? Seventeen?

    He’s not that interesting.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      It was a draft. I haven’t seen it, but keep in mind Bloomberg is a service that provides stories to other outlets. The way you typically write one of these things is as a short, one paragraph summary. Then there’s a longer version of his life, for publications that want something of that length. Then you do the whole thing again, fleshed out in greater detail, for publications that want kind of length. There’s a lot of redundancy. You also include a bunch of filler paras with quotes and whatnot, so they can choose one or in case it needs to be just a little longer, or they need a pull quote or subhead or something.

        • GreatGooglyMoogly
        • 11 years ago

        Ah, alright. Thanks.

    • JdL
    • 11 years ago

    Joking aside….

    Jobs is still young by any standards — if he was healthy, he should easily have 20+ years to go. Maybe there’s something to the stories swirling about his health. Why is he still working on a $1 annual salary? How is it they have so many contacts–they must have been talking to folks already?

    Something’s up. I think a sad day is coming for the industry.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Of course there’s /[http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2008/03/06/steve-jobss-cancer-went-unannounced-for-nine-months< ]§ Which doesn't mean there's necessarily anything wrong with him now, but there's certainly a basis to speculate whenever he looks particularly gaunt or tired or otherwise unhealthy in a way that would be shrugged off in most other people his age. Which is the /[http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/06/13/steve-jobs-life-after-the-whipple/< ]§ There's always a tension between the privacy rights accorded to anyone wrt their health and the fiduciary obligations of a corporate executive (not to mention the general interest in any celebrity or public figure). Most people are understandably private about their personal health issues; Jobs is famously/notoriously secretive about everything. With that and his health history as a backdrop, there's /[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_premature_obituaries<]§

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    You know, I was /[

    • PRIME1
    • 11 years ago

    With apologies to Monty Python…..

    *[

      • leor
      • 11 years ago

      excellent!

      • mortifiedPenguin
      • 11 years ago

      I loved that skit.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    They’ve retracted; he’s no longer dead.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Bloomberg has amazing lifegiving powers. No wonder he wanted to be mayor of NYC.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        Sttrrreeeeeetttcccchhhh /[<*snap!*<]/ XD

    • axeman
    • 11 years ago
      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      gratuitous redux?

        • PerfectCr
        • 11 years ago

        Oh boy, here we go again.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Nah, no edit-minder on this post. I think he was just making the same point as me about the spacebar.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Obviously a slip, but not entirely wierd. Jobs is a major public figure with a recent history of pancreatic cancer; his past accomplishments aren’t going to change, so there’s no reason why a news agency couldn’t have all of that stuff already written up just in case his health took a sudden turn.

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      that way, they can add a one-liner about how he actually died at the very end, and have it published within 5 minutes of him actually dying.

      • bthylafh
      • 11 years ago

      It’s common practice at major news organizations to keep running obits of famous people. That way the obits ran be run the next issue after the person dies.

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah, it’s SOP at every major news org to keep them warm and ready to go when the body is still cooling. ( I have a friend who once had the obit beat for the AP.) This is precisely /[

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    Lame.

    Plus, the TR character-minimum posting requirement doesn’t believe in the economy of words.

    Lame.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Lame.

      • PerfectCr
      • 11 years ago

      I can’t tell how you felt about this. Care you elaborate?

        • Jon
        • 11 years ago

        </Eliza> *sniff*

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    Whoops. I guess there’s another job listed shortly. Too bad it’s paper-slinging PR job, there are guys like that thick as louses at the unemployment office already.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      No, it would be a low-level journalist’s job and, while I wouldn’t want to be that person, he/she probably didn’t get fired. There are plenty of them unemployed too, though.

      Of course it could be an IT guy effed up instead.

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