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Is Steve Jobs Sick and Will He Ever Be On Stage Again?

June 16th, 2008 · 10 Comments ·

Latest update: According to a statement from Apple on 5 October 2011, Steve Jobs has passed away.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs, 2005


Steve Jobs is the founder and CEO of Apple. I like to watch his impressive presentation. He speaks with his passion. His love for Apple’s products is so strong that it becomes more than infectious. His love does not stem from pride, but from his belief. He believes that his products are rock solid good. And that belief drives his presentation.

On 9 June 2008, when I watched the TV news of Apple announced the release of iPhone 3G during Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 08) in San Franscisco, from sitting far away, I asked my friend, “Who is that skinny fellow? Where is Steve Jobs?”


I was expecting Steve Job to deliver the keynote message.

“Bro, that guy is Steve Jobs, who else?”

I put down my work and walked closer to the television. Yes, he is Steve. His gaunt looking appearance has almost made him a stranger to me. Really, he looks so thin. While I am impressed with MacBook Air Thinspiration, I was even surprised to see such a thin version of him! Some people on the net have even made fun of his skeletal body frame by calling him iSteve nano.

Right after the appearance, rumor started to spread:

  1. Steve was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late 2003. However, he kept this news from Apple shareholders until 9 months later, after he has explored almost all methods to cure it. Being a technology guys, contrary to belief, he initially resisted the idea of conventional medical intervention. Still, Steve eventually went for surgery in July 2004. So, this time, rumor said that the cancer cell may have spread to other organs such as kidney or liver and causing him to lose weight significantly.
  2. Another gossip saying that his wife, Laurene Powell, has been feeding him with restrictive vegan diet ever since the surgery. Laurene is a fan of organics food and she even has a business producing those natural foods. Apple staffs have mentioned in the net that Apple has a fabulous cafeterias catering for vegetarians, vegans and people who like organics food. So, probably under his wife’s influence, Jobs has changed his diet and has since lost much of his weight.
  3. Another rumor saying he is suffering from manorexia. Manorexia is the man version of anorexia nervosa. Patients with anorexia are normally control their body weight by starvation, purging, vomiting, excessive exercise, or other weight control measures, such as using diet pills or diuretic drugs.

However, Apple spoke person has tried to clarified that Jobs was suffering from a flu and now is under antibiotics treatment. Whether it is just a typical PR spin or not, nobody except Steve knows exactly what happens.

I have searched several Steve’s pictures from year 1997 to 2008. He looks the best in year 2005, after he has recovered from the cancer. Shortly 3 years later, he looks seriously thin. If he is a boxer, he is probably classified in lowest weight category now.


1997 – Coming back to Apple becoming the Interim CEO.



1998 – Steve Jobs with his woodsman beard and hamster cheeks. Take note of the arrival of the signature black shirt and blue jeans combo.


1999 – Appearing in Time magazine


2002 – Still spotting clean cut.


Steve Jobs in year 2003.


Steve Jobs in year 2004 after the surgery


Steve Jobs in year 2005, gained bit of weight comparing to year 2004.


Appeared in cover page of Time magazine in year 2005.


Steve Jobs revealed iPhone in January 2007


Launching MacBook Air in January 2008


Appearing on stage with Bill Gates in May 2008


Announcing iPhone 3G (8GB) for $199 in June 2008

Can’t see the difference, how about these few pictures?



If you look at his photo, almost the same pose and same shirt, he looks much thinner between January and June 2008. That is only 6 months apart. Steve Jobs has been wearing his signature black turtleneck all this while. But, this time, in June 2008, the color and the shirt have made him look pale and sick. If he continues to lose weight, he will need a belt for his jeans next time.

According to a CNBC reporter who has interviewed Jobs that day, he said, “Steve’s handshake was moderate, his hands felt bony and I was taken aback by his extremely narrow face, slight build, and noticeable bones through his shirt.” Sound as if Steve has really lost much weight.

Normally, I pick a celebrity and writes about his or her transformation from being fat to slim. But, the main reason I am writing this post because I considered Steve Jobs is a celebrity, in his own class of celebrity CEO. I have high respect to his vision when comes to gadget. Steve Jobs is considered nearly irreplaceable at Apple. He has been a well known architect in coming out with Mac Book, iPod and iPhone technology.

Steve Jobs has his right to keep his health from public. But, as the CEO of one of the most successful technology companies, his health issues will affect many shareholders’ confidence and stock price. I hope that this great man will recover soon. Just like his iPhone, he may be thin, but remains “robust”. Let’s wish to see him appearing on stage again to talk about next version of iPhone, be it two or four years later. I sincerely want to see him doing that again.

Steve Jobs’ Photo taken in August 2011

icon-steve-jobs-book.jpg apple-confidential-2-the-definitive-history-of-the-world-most-colorful-company.jpg



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10 responses so far ↓
  • Russ // Jun 16, 2008 at 2:19 AM

    My dad died from pancreatic cancer in 2003. Before he died he looked almost exactly like Steve Jobs. If I had to make a wager, I’d guess he has had a reoccurence of the cancer. I watched the keynote on the laptop in a little window so I couldn’t tell how thin he was. This hugeness of the mach turtle neck, not pushing the sleeves up as I’ve seen him do before. I heard someone say that he looks like a vegan.

    I’m selling my Apple stock. If Steve survives the year, I’d be surprised.

  • hyperX // Jun 16, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    Oh gosh, I love Steve Job’s presentation, he’s such a wonderful presenter. But seriously, he looked something wrong and I kinda worried about him. He looks fits and handsome on Jan 08 but with the same shirt, he looked way different from 5 months ago. That’s scary. God bless, Steve Job.

  • sylvesteR // Jun 16, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Yes, he definitely looks better at the beginning of this year. Maintaining a diet doesn’t simply means one has to eat less, but more like eat appropriately and that’s what I think he should do!!

  • durai // Jun 16, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    your post is informative and picture of steve are amazing..

  • Foong // Jun 17, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    Comparing Jan and June 2008 photos, he really did look thinner. He did not look healthy in the June photo. I don’t think it’s the vegan diet or manorexia (first time I hear of such a word!). I believe his cancer is back. I really hope my instinct is wrong.

  • Extreme-bb // Jun 17, 2008 at 8:11 PM

    He is battling an ailment and still has the company in mind. Great man. We all have to die someday. But I pray that he achieves whatever goal he set for himself. If his goal is to leave a legacy…he’s already done that.

  • Shagghie // Jun 19, 2008 at 1:24 AM

    I’m glad to see respectful comments here… there’s no reason to tie his illness in with the stock.. Apple products are going to do well for decades to come. His direction is imprinted on the company from top down.
    We all have our time, and cancer doesn’t affect the way he’s running the company. In fact, we’ve seen more focus and brilliance in the last 5 years than ever before from Apple. They are in the right place at the right time making exactly the right products.
    I could get hit by a bus 20 minutes from now. We all could. An illness doesn’t mean that someone will live any longer or shorter…our time is our time. Leave the stock price out of this conversation, and let’s all just look to the future.

  • Anton // Jun 27, 2008 at 11:44 PM

    My father had pancreatic cancer and became really thin before he passed away. The speed at which pancreatic cancer spreads is truely a horrible thing to see. Steve’s thin and bony looks reminds me of my father. I don’t think Steve has much time left. Maybe a year, but it may turn out to be much less. My thoughts are with Steve, his family, and his friends. It’s a tough road.

  • LarryS // Jul 22, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    God Bless Steve. He’s done so much good for the world.

  • Paul Edgewater // Aug 26, 2008 at 1:26 AM

    God Bless Steve Jobs.

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