Steve Jobs’ Last Words: ‘Oh Wow. Oh Wow. Oh Wow.’

Brandon mentioned this in his link round-up, but the eulogy written for Steve Jobs by author Mona Simpson, the sister he discovered he had two decades into his life, is the most heartfelt piece I've read about the Apple founder since his death:

Jobs_simpsonTuesday morning, he called me to ask me to hurry up 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.

He started his farewell and I stopped him. I said, “Wait. I’m coming. I’m in a taxi to the airport. I’ll be there.”

“I’m telling you now because I’m afraid you won’t make it on time, honey.”

When I arrived, he and his Laurene were joking together like partners who’d lived and worked together every day of their lives. He looked into his children’s eyes as if he couldn’t unlock his gaze. Until about 2 in the afternoon, his wife could rouse him, to talk to his friends from Apple. Then, after awhile, it was clear that he would no longer wake to us. His breathing changed. It became severe, deliberate, purposeful. I could feel him counting his steps again, pushing farther than before.

This is what I learned: he was working at this, too. Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it.


Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.

Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.

Steve’s final words were:


A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs [nyt]


  1. Greg says

    I’m not normally one for biography but I found this, and the eulogy delivered by Jonathan Ive, both intensely moving and fascinating.

  2. Christopher says

    Enough with Steve Jobs already. He’d dead. Move on!!
    There were far better people in the world who did great things that have received far less press than this egomaniac did.
    How about giving them some equal time, instead of garnering views

  3. Chuck Mielke says

    I, for one, am getting really sick of this need to make heroes of the dead. “Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it.” What crap. She heard is body struggling for breath and life — the “death rattle”; Steve had nothing to do with it. He was no more in control that function than of his endocrinology. I just wish we could stop the romanticizing of death and the dead. (Yes, I know: she’s grieving and fearful and all the rest that goes with the death of someone near. Still…)

  4. Chris in MN says

    RE: Chuck M’s comment: “I, for one, am getting really sick of this need to make heroes of the dead.”

    Let’s remember the context of this piece. It was a EULOGY given by Steve Jobs’ SISTER at his FUNERAL. This man may have been a hero to them, so let it be.

  5. eh says

    I’m sure this man’s death is sad for his family and friends and his contribution to the business world and share holders immense. But, I do not believe he contributed to the greatness of the human spirit; in fact, he diminished it with techno tricks that discourage spiritual development.

  6. Kevin_BGFH says

    When my aunt died of cancer, she woke up that morning perfectly lucid and aware … and she knew, despite feeling pretty strong the previous day, that it was her last day. Her first words that morning were, “Oh no, not today.”

    It’s interesting that she, like Jobs, though waking feeling pretty strong, knew that it was the end.

  7. Paul R says

    I’m not a crazy Apple fanboy or an apologist or huge fan of Jobs, but some of you need to show a bit of respect for the dead. You really think that it’s useful to attack dead people? Strikes me as sad and strange unless it’s a hate-monger or despot.

  8. Ron says


    I would not count on any sensitivity from your typical Towleroad reader. The messages on this site are fascinating in that they reveal a lot about the community in general.

  9. says

    Hey Ron…. Before you go too hard on us here…. Visit NJ.COM and take a look at some reader comments there. Sometimes I think my state is the capitol of mean.

  10. Tikihead says

    Where’s Jason to tell us Steve Jobs was bi, and so are the rest of us, but we’re too blah blah blah…?