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Daughter’s book reveals more of the dark side of Steve Jobs |

Daughter’s book reveals more of the dark side of Steve Jobs

The late Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, seen speaking at the 2006 MacWorld conference in San Francisco, is the subject of 'Small Fry,' a book by his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs.
This cover image released by Grove Press shows 'Small Fry,' a memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs.

There’s no doubt the late Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, taking Apple from the brink of bankruptcy and setting it on a path on which it would become the first U.S. company to reach $1 trillion in value.

But there was a dark side to Jobs — witness a 2011 Business Insider article titled “16 Examples of Steve Jobs Being an Unbelievable Jerk.”

Now his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs is making the rounds to talk about her book, “Small Fry,” which chronicles her difficult relationship with a father who first denied her, then ignored her, but later took her into his home — as a sort of modern-day Cinderella who washed dishes and babysat her younger half-brother.

Yet Brennan-Jobs gives grace to her father, telling Hoda Kotb this morning on NBC’s “Today,” that with Jobs’s 2011 death, “I lost the chance to have more friendship with him. I wished that we had more time together.”

The 2015 movie “Steve Jobs,” starring Michael Fassbender, also explored the relationship.

Brennan-Jobs was the product of Jobs’s relationship with high school girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, whom he never married.

Her book chronicles disappointment after disappointment, humiliation after humiliation, at the hands of her father, from refusing to help her and her mother financially, to denying that the early Apple computer Lisa was named for her, to banning her from seeing her mother once he took Brennan-Jobs into his home.

Stepmother Laurene Powell Jobs reportedly told her, when refusing her simple good night wishes, “We’re just cold people.”

On “Today,” Brennan-Jobs called her book a way to understand their relationship, calling it a “coming of age story” that was both “cathartic and joyful” to write.

Twitter, of course, has not been as generous.

At book’s end, Jobs is on his deathbed, telling his daughter he regrets not being a better father and that he “owes her one” — making it a cautionary tale for parents everywhere.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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