Steve Jobs’ Sister Reveals His Last Words in Eulogy

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Steve Jobs’ biological sister, Mona Simpson, has a piece in the New York Times called A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs. It’s the same eulogy she delivered on October 16 at Jobs’ memorial service held at Stanford.

In it, she describes their initial meeting in 1985—they went on a long walk where Jobs explained he worked in computers. Simpson, at the time a writer for “a cutting-edge literary magazine,” had been using an Olivetti typewriter but was considering getting a computer called the Cromemco.

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Says Simpson, “Steve told me it was a good thing I’d waited. He said he was making something that was going to be insanely beautiful.”

A large part of the eulogy is devoted to Jobs’ family—his wife Laurene and their four children together—along with a section on his recovery in a Memphis hospital after he’d gotten a liver transplant, and a time “when Steve had contracted a tenacious pneumonia,” says Simpson.

She continues:

“Intubated, when he couldn’t talk, he asked for a notepad. He sketched devices to hold an iPad in a hospital bed. He designed new fluid monitors and x-ray equipment. He redrew that not-quite-special-enough hospital unit. And every time his wife walked into the room, I watched his smile remake itself on his face.”


“On Steve’s better days, even in the last year, he embarked upon projects and elicited promises from his friends at Apple to finish them. Some boat builders in the Netherlands have a gorgeous stainless steel hull ready to be covered with the finishing wood. His three daughters remain unmarried, his two youngest still girls, and he’d wanted to walk them down the aisle as he’d walked me the day of my wedding.”

The morning before his death, Jobs called Simpson and asked her to hurry to Palo Alto: “His tone was affectionate, dear, loving, but like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us,” says Simpson.

Jobs apparently floated in and out of consciousness until around 2pm that afternoon. Then, says Simpson, “His breathing changed. It became severe, deliberate, purposeful.” He made it through the night, but Simpson recalls, “Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times… OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”

[via New York Times]

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