Was Steve Jobs the Best American CEO?

A new biography of Steve Jobs will be released Monday as many ponder his legacy.


Immediately after Steve Jobs died of cancer in early October, many hailed him as one of the greatest innovators of all time, whose contributions to technology compared to those of Johannes Gutenberg and Thomas Edison. Soon after his death, Rick Newman discussed his ranking among the "Greats." Thomas Jefferson Street bloggers Susan Milligan and Scott Galupo both wrote their own elegies to the Apple co-founder. "It was his visionary approach, his entrepreneurial spirit, and remarkable drive for innovation that represents some of the best of what this country has to offer," said Milligan. Galupo agreed, saying,"… it's become almost a truism that he provided consumers what they needed before they even knew they needed it."

[Vote: Is Apple Doomed without Steve Jobs?]

The reflection on Jobs's legacy has not subsided since his death two-and-a-half weeks ago. Apple closed its stores nationwide for an hour on Wednesday so that its employees could watch his memorial service. Most of these stores were covered in adoring post-it notes and apples with a bite taken out (like the Apple logo) that people left in honor of Jobs. On Monday, "Steve Jobs," a biography by Walter Isaacson will be released. Though not the first Jobs biography, Isaacson was granted unprecedented access to the usually private innovator, his last of many interviews taking place only weeks before Jobs died. Pre-sales of the book have already propelled it to the top of best-seller lists. Though the book reveals many intimate details of Jobs's life, including his skepticism of religion and his feud with former business partner Eric Schmidt of Google, it is unlikely to tarnish Jobs's reputation. If anything, the major question being asked is what effect his success as Apple CEO will have on American business as a whole. Friday, Newman pondered that very question, suggesting, "[T]he late CEO of Apple might yet exert a beneficial influence on the U.S. economy."

What do you think? Was Steve Jobs the best American CEO? Take the poll and comment below.

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