Walter Isaacson: 'The key to understanding Steve Jobs'

The biographer talks to "60 Minutes" about Jobs' early childhood and his reaction to being adopted--including his take on his biological father.

In an interview on "60 Minutes," biographer Walter Isaacson says that two of the key influences in Steve Jobs' upbringing were learning that he was adopted, and growing up in Silicon Valley, where the emerging digital world met the Bay Area's counterculture.

Isaacson tells of a turning point when Jobs was a child and grappling with being adopted, and took to heart the reassurances of his adoptive parents.

"He said, 'From then on, I realized I was not just abandoned, I was chosen. I was special'," Isaacson said. "And I think that's the key to understanding Steve Jobs."

Decades later, Jobs found his biological mother and sister. Although he chose not to meet his father, Abdulfattah Jandali, he learned the two may have met years earlier--not knowing they were biological father and son.

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

 

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