Steve Jobs and 'the passion of his honesty'

The Apple co-founder's fire made for great products, but also cruelty, biographer Walter Isaacson says. Jobs also was determined not to let money ruin him.

Steve Jobs is infamous for being an abrasive and often abusive boss--determined to get his way. But for those at Apple who stood up to him, there could be a humorous payoff, his biographer, Walter Isaacson, tells "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft.

"He could have been kinder, he could have been gentler to people," Isaacson says. "But I think the honesty and the passion of his honesty both made for the great products but also made for that cruelty sometimes."

Stiil, he didn't mind people pushing back at him, Isaacson says, recollecting an award given in the early days of Apple for the person who best stood up to jobs.

And while Jobs was worth $7 billion, he told Isaacson that he "did not want to live that nutso lavish lifestyle that so many people do when they get rich." His home and lifestyle reflected that commitment to living more modestly.

"His house in Palo Alto is a house on a normal street," says Isaacson. "It was a normal family home."

Jobs described how he had seen money change people at Apple after it went public, how they thought they had to "start being rich" and went from being nice, simple folks to become "bizarro people." And he wasn't going to let that happen to him.

Disclosure: Walter Isaacson's biography "Steve Jobs" is published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS corporation. CNET is published by CBS Interactive.

 

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