Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who died yesterday at 56, undeniably helped influence countless lives through constant innovation by his company – a company he molded into one of America’s most successful and respected. That’s why you saw such an outpouring of tributes (a sample of which Wired showcases here) in the wake of his passing – though it couldn’t have been entirely unexpected, given Jobs’ long battle with cancer and his recent relinquishing of his CEO duties, it was still surreal, in a way. Steve Jobs was one of the few people left who really seemed larger than life.
So as remembrances poured in, it was easy to forget that Jobs’ following didn’t include every single person on the face of the earth. Among those less familiar: Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, who, probably upon seeing his Twitter timeline fill up with Jobs tributes, revealed the tech titan lived his life on Oher’s blind side:
Can somebody help me out? Who was Steve Jobs!
The best part: Oher sent the message from an iPhone. If Oher thought he was hearing a lot about Jobs before he inquired as to the man’s identity, we can only imagine how many “Oh, he only invented the thing you typed that on” responses he got immediately after. But it’s not entirely a shock Oher wouldn’t have heard Jobs’ name before – his life story’s been chronicled. We imagine worrying about the latest Apple product wasn’t exactly high on the list of priorities for the guy growing up, like it undoubtedly was for so many who were most saddened by Jobs’ death.
And yeah, Oher probably could have saved himself some Twitter mocking by clicking one of the hashtags, or searching Jobs’ name…he has to have full Internet service on that iPhone, no? And we know he took some crap for it, based on a couple annoyed responses after he asked:
Really, though, Oher’s got nothing to be ashamed of. Jobs’ fanbase just was and is an intensely loyal one, indeed one that might be outraged at the mere thought of anyone who didn’t know who Jobs was. And, saying this in all respect for Jobs’ memory and his many, many accomplishments throughout a remarkable life: we don’t imagine he himself took too kindly to the thought of people not knowing who he was, either. As Steven Levy said in his own tribute on Wired:
It had taken a while for the world to realize what an amazing treasure Steve Jobs was. But Jobs knew it all along.
It took Oher a while. He knows now. And that’s fine. (And he probably wasn’t wrong about how many people figured out who Jobs was through trending topics, either.)
Getty photo (by Gregory Shamus)