First up: Biographer Isaacson on Steve Jobs
2009 LYNN GOLDSMITH
CHESTERTOWN, MD—Noted biographer and journalist Walter Isaacson will share insights from his 2011 bestselling book on Steve Jobs when he delivers the first Washington College Annual Lecture in Business Biography on Tuesday, October 15. His talk will take place at 4 p.m. in Decker Theatre on the College’s main campus, 300 Washington Ave., and is free and open to the public.
Isaacson has particular insight into the famous co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc. who personally asked him to write the biography. His 656-page portrait, titled simply Steve Jobs, is based on more than 40 interviews he conducted during the last two years of Jobs’s life. He also interviewed more than 100 of Jobs’s family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues.
Isaacson has served as the editor of TIME magazine and the chairman and CEO of CNN. He is now the president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization. In addition to his biography of Steve Jobs, his works include Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography, as well as the book he co-wrote with Evan Thomas, The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).
Isaacson and Jobs are an illustrious pair to start the new Annual Lecture in Business Biography at the College. When Isaacson was named to TIME Magazine’s 2012 list of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People,” former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright credited him with “the objectivity of a true historian and the flair of a born storyteller,” as well as the ability to “[choose] subjects whose individual talents have affected all our lives.” And Forbes has described Steve Jobs as “arguably the foremost business executive of our era… He demonstrated the profound truth that science and liberal arts are not polar opposites but two sides of the same coin.”
In establishing the Business Biography talks, the Washington College Business Management department aims to give students another perspective on effective business leadership. Department chair Michael Harvey says students in his and other business classes will be reading the biography in advance of Isaacson’s talk and will draw from it, “invaluable lessons about asking questions, taking risks, innovating, and persisting—but also lessons about the dark side of ambition and what it was like to work for a man as driven and obsessed as Jobs.”