October 6th, 2011
09:38 PM ET

Letters to the President: #990 'Steve Jobs'

Reporter's Note: The president has issued a statement of condolence on the death of Steve Jobs, the guru of Apple. This is mine.

Dear Mr. President,

Steve Jobs is gone. I suppose you’ve seen the various interviews and tributes online and on the air since he passed last night, and perhaps you’ve been as impressed as I have been with the outpouring of admiration. Imagine: Creating things so captivating, wonderful, and full of imagination, that when you go away the world mourns.

I recall years ago when Apple computers were really something of an oddity. Almost everyone I knew was using other types of computers, and when you ran into an Apple person, it was like encountering a being from another planet. They always bragged about the elegant design, the smooth, logical flow of the functions. They talked about their Apples as if describing great paintings, and truth be told, I guess they were works of art: if not technological masterpieces, then at least the early sketches of brilliance yet to come.

Meanwhile, I and so many others kept typing away in DOS and looking at the Applers as if they were crazy.

You know the rest. Eventually the iPod came along, the world went gaga, and now I am an Apple person through and through. I have joined the cult and whisper secrets about all things Apple whenever computer talk comes up. I love the swift, beautiful boot up of a MacBook Pro. I carry my iPad everywhere and use it all the time.

To take a company from being a sideshow into a household name takes a very special commitment to an ideal. It takes years of hard work, intelligence, luck and pluck. And Jobs seems to have had all that. Good for him. We need more people who are willing to go that extra mile in the name of innovation and success.

When a magician dies, there is a ceremony in which his wand is broken. Someone should probably break one for Jobs, because he was certainly a real life magician in so many ways.


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