Steve Jobs was widely celebrated after he had died. But he left behind a very questionable legacy in terms of how he treated other human beings. His abusive behaviours have been documented in his biography by Walter Isaacson, by his friends, by his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs, and by Chrisann Brennan (Lisa’s mother and Steve Jobs’ ex-girlfriend). Jobs had famously denied paternity of his daughter and absurdly claimed in court papers that he was “sterile and infertile”. His daughter and ex-girlfriend have detailed his emotional abuse in their books. Lisa discusses how her father continued to put her down shortly before his death and that she had given up on “the possibility of a grand reconciliation, the kind in the movies”.
As a society, we need to stop enabling abuse. Emotional violence occasionally has a cost to shareholders. More importantly, it has devastating effects on its victims. We need to stop whitewashing “successful” people simply because we admire their achievements and accomplishments.