'Oh Wow': Steve Jobs' Last Words

Mona Simpson remembers her brother as a man who loved beauty, art, and family
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2011 3:48 AM CDT
Updated Nov 5, 2011 7:10 AM CDT
Steve Jobs' Last Words Were 'Oh Wow,' Sister Mona Simpson Recalls
Mona Simpson remembers her brother, Apple founder Steve Jobs.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

"OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW." Those were Steve Jobs' final words, spoken as he looked at his family just hours before he died on Oct. 5, recalled his sister Mona Simpson in the eulogy she gave at his Oct. 16 memorial service, as published by the New York Times. Even in dying, Jobs displayed his "capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later," writes Simpson. His breathing slowed and he could no longer wake up, but still she could feel him pushing, setting goals, even if those goals were now just another few minutes of life.

"What I learned from my brother’s death was that character is essential: What he was, was how he died," says Simpson, who only met her brother, who had been given up for adoption at birth, when she was 25. She says that Jobs was always a hard worker, obsessed not with novelty, trends, or success, but beauty, art, and love. "In that most important way, Steve was never ironic, never cynical, never pessimistic," she says. Her remembrance is peppered with moments free of airs: Steve picking her up from the airport in jeans, dinners "served on the grass," which "sometimes consisted of just one vegetable. Lots of that one vegetable. But one. Broccoli. In season. Simply prepared. With just the right, recently snipped, herb." Click to read her entire eulogy. (More Steve Jobs stories.)

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