Nerds around the world cried like little girls upon the news that Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple. It’s hard to avoid this news, especially if you have an Internet connection. What you might not know is that Steve Jobs is, in addition to being a guru for Apple fanboys too numerous to mention, the man is a bona fide bad ass. Here are some factoids that make Steve Jobs the Chuck Norris of geekdom. Take notes. Bonus points if you use an iPad.
1. Working With Cancer
There’s a joke women make about the world’s most suffering creature being a man with a cold. Face it, dude, you turn into a total baby when you get a case of the sniffles. Not Steve Jobs, though. Heir apparent Tim Cook ran the company during Jobs’ stint with cancer. Jobs, however, wasn’t content to sit around convalescing. He gave his annual keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference despite recently having major surgery to remove tumors in his pancreas. Remember that next time you’re whining about a stuffed-up nose.
2. Sweet Outfit
Steve Jobs is part of a corps of men who consider choosing an outfit daily beneath them. When you’re in a club that includes Johnny Cash, Albert Einstein and Tom Wolfe, that’s never a bad thing. Jobs has been rocking the turtleneck-and-jeans combo for as long as we can remember. Who’s gonna tell him to change his clothes? No one, that’s who.
3. Back From the Grave
Jobs isn’t the only one who had a brush with death. The entire Apple company had its obituary written a thousand times over, particular during its nadir in the 1990s. The success or failure of a company can never be attributed to the efforts of a single man. Still, Jobs’ ability to follow Wayne Gretzsky’s advice to “be where the puck is going” rather than where it’s been did more than just save Apple. It also allowed everyone to carry around a stylish little box that holds all your music in a single place.
4. Taking on the Beatles
For many years, Apple and the Beatles (owners of Apple Records) had an agreement. Apple would stay out of music if The Beatles stayed out of computers. Every time Apple inched a little further into music—with iPods and iTunes—McCartney and company got a little angrier. Long story short, Jobs kept pushing the envelope until the Beatles were so defeated they let him sell their records through iTunes. Now that’s gangsta.
How many patents do you have? One? Five? Ten? A hundred? Steve Jobs has 230 patents, including everything from touch-based user interfaces and power adapters to lanyards and packaging. Those are just the ones that he’s the primary of co-inventory on. We shudder to think how many patent applications he’s listed on merely for sitting in the room.
6. Return of the King
In the mid-80s Steve Jobs got forced out of Apple and formed his own company, NeXT Computer. After a few years shilling this cost-prohibitive “interpersonal computer,” Apple begged Jobs to return. Like Aragorn, Steve Jobs came strutting back into Apple like he owned the place, swinging his junk around and retooling the entire company to make cute glowing boxes that do everything you want a computer to do with no blue screen of death, random freezing or worrying about getting a zillion viruses from browsing your favorite porn thumbnail site.
7. Possibly a Ninja
Steve Jobs made a visit to Japan in 2010. Word on the street is he tried to return to America with some sick shuriken (ninja throwing stars of the kind you slayed many villains with in Shinobi, circa 1990). Apple quickly dismissed the story, but that didn’t stop the entire Interwebz from speculating that Steve Jobs was part of an international ninja yakuza crew whose gang tattoos can only be seen under blacklight. Ok, that last part is totally fabricated, but would you be surprised? We’ve already established that Steve Jobs is one Grade-A badass. He’ll be missed.