The Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano remembered Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, as a “visionary who united technology and art.”
The newspaper underscored that Jobs, who died at age 56 on Oct. 5 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, “was one of the leaders and symbols of the Silicon Valley revolution.”
This revolution was also one of “habits, mentalities and culture. A revolution that was an offshoot, but not an heir, of the lax ‘70s”
Jobs “was a visionary who united technology and art. True, he wasn’t a technician or an entrepreneur. He was not a designer or a mathematician. Neither was he the typical nerd or showman. Was he a pirate or a pioneer? History will be the judge. In the meantime, his genius creations remain with us,” L’Osservatore Romano said.
From “unwanted pregnancy” to genius
Steve Jobs was born on Feb. 24, 1955. He was given up for adoption by his mother Joanne Simpson because of her father’s opposition to her relationship with Jobs’ Syrian father, Abdulfattah John Jandali.
Joanne and Abdulfattah eventually married after the death of her father. They had a daughter and tried to get their son back but it was legally impossible.
Jobs was raised by a working-class family. In 1976 he founded the company Apple in his garage with Steve Wozniak. “In just 10 years, it became a $2 billion company,” the Vatican newspaper recalled.
On Jan. 24, 1984, Apple launched the Macintosh 128K, the first personal computer to be successful in the market. It used a Graphic User Interface and a mouse instead of line commands.
In 2001 Jobs launched the iPod, a device that “reached the hearts and minds of thousands of people.” “Talent. Pure talent,” L’Osservatore Romano said.
The new director of the magazine Civilta Cattolica, Father Antonio Spadaro, S.J., said Jobs' greatest contribution lies “in the fact that technology, for him, was part of life” and not something “reserved to the techies,” but rather for “our everyday lives.”
Fr. Sparado recalled Pope Pius XI’s early understanding of the power of communications. He said that both Jobs and the Pope understood “that communication is the greatest value we have at our disposal today and that we should put it to use.
“He brought together a great capacity for innovation and a great capacity for creating.”
“In the end, Steve Jobs’ most important message is ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish.’ That is, always maintain the capacity to see life in new terms,” Fr. Sparado said in reference to Jobs’ famous commencement speech at Stanford in 2005.
This outlook has to do with the ability to see beyond the limits. “It’s something we call all learn from,” he said.