updated 03:25 pm EDT, Thu October 20, 2011
CBS teases excerpts from 60 Minutes interview
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs "regretted" initially opting for alternative medicine to treat his pancreatic cancer instead of going straight to surgery, says Walter Isaacson. The biography writer will appear in a 60 Minutes interview Sunday, at 7PM Eastern and Pacific time, but CBS has today published an early excerpt. Jobs was first diagnosed with cancer in late 2003; for roughly nine months however he attempted to treat the disease with a special diet instead, ignoring pressure from his wife and others.
"I've asked [Jobs why he didn't get an operation then] and he said, 'I didn't want my body to be opened...I didn't want to be violated in that way'," Isaacson says in the interview with Steve Kroft. Asked by Kroft why an intelligent man would make such a decision, Isaacson answers, "I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking...we talked about this a lot. He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it....I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner."
Jobs did ultimately get a seemingly successful surgery, after which he informed the rest of Apple. Isaacson reveals, however, that Jobs continued to get cancer treatments in secret, at the same time as he was telling everyone that he had been cured. The executive was notoriously silent about his health, never admitting the true reason for his second and third medical leaves, or even his resignation.
Some other topics to be covered in the interview include Jobs meeting his biological father before knowing who he was, and Jobs' interest in death and the idea of an afterlife. Jobs is said to have put the odds of a god existing at 50-50, but thought about the concept much more once he was diagnosed with cancer. Jobs was also allegedly opposed to conspicuous consumption, hating how some Apple workers turned into "bizarro people" after a stock offering. He vowed never to let this happen to himself, according to Isaacson.