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Steve Jobs biographer: Jobs refused surgery

CBS has posted the first clip from the "60 Minutes" interview with biographer Walter Isaacson, who discusses Jobs' decision to attempt natural treatments for his tumor ahead of getting it surgically removed.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
Steve Jobs bio book cover
Courtesy of Albert Watson

"60 Minutes" has posted a preview teaser from its interview with Walter Isaacson, the biographer whose book about the life of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs hits store shelves next week. In the interview, Isaacson says that Jobs initially refused to have surgery until urged by friends and family.

In the clip, which is embedded below, Steve Kroft of "60 Minutes" gets Isaacson to discuss Jobs' handling of a tumor, which Isaacson says Jobs attempted to treat with alternative medicine versus having it surgically removed.

"You know, I've asked him about that," Isaacson told Kroft. "He said 'I didn't want my body to be opened, I didn't want to be violated in that way,' he's regretful about it," Isaacson remembers.

Isaacson then told Kroft that Jobs' wife tried to urge Jobs to get the surgery, followed shortly thereafter by "everybody" else, which Jobs then did nine months after the diagnosis.

"Why would such a smart man do such a stupid thing?" Kroft then asks Isaacson, to which he says "I think that [Jobs] kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking, it had worked for him in the past. He regretted it."

The interview is the first to feature Isaacson talking about his time with Jobs. The much-anticipated biography includes two years' worth of interviews with Jobs, family members, and colleagues. Its release was pushed up to October 24 following the death of Jobs earlier this month.

Other tidbits from the "60 Minutes" interview, according to CBS, include:

• Jobs noting that he had met his biological father ahead of knowing that the two were related.
• Jobs pledging to not let money, including Apple's successful stock offering, change him.
• Jobs putting the odds at 50-50 on whether there is a God.

The interview airs this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT, the night before the book goes on sale.

Disclosure: Simon & Schuster is owned by CBS. CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.