sclerosis, coming out of the closet and a noble gesture with Steve Jobs

It was not easy for him, but he took the step and he is very proud of having done it. Tim Cook, which came out of the closet in 2014, it was last week, when the new iPhone 12, one of the people to whom more attention has been paid worldwide, as his words were eagerly awaited by the fans of this technology company, who were eager to know the technical details of the new device, its date of arrival on the market and, of course, its price.

Beyond enthusiasm or disappointment, that of all there has been, the CEO de Apple He is a tremendously admired and respected figure in equal parts for certain gestures that have marked his public life and also how he is involved in the face of the great challenges facing the world, especially in these times of pandemic that have completely changed the rules of the world. game in which our life unfolds now.

Tim Cook, with the new iPhone. (EFE)

Indeed, Cook spoke out about the new challenges facing the world last September at the Atlantic Festival, in a digital appearance in which he refused to criticize how Donald Trump is managing the pandemic, although he stressed that he could only comment on how they were responding as a company, mainly by making donations and not giving fuel to fake news: “I think the virus has taken the world by surprise. It is significant and I think there will be time to learn a lot of things that we could have done better. I hope we will take a closer look as we get closer to the other side of the virus. I see the private conversation I had (with Donald Trump) as such and I don’t want to go into detail. My philosophy is commitment. I think it’s better to get involved, agree or I would even say that it is more important to commit when you disagree with something. ”

A crucial item in your life

Perhaps in that way of understanding life we ​​should interpret his coming out of the closet in 2014, when he published an article in ‘Businessweek’, one of the most influential and powerful publications in the business world. “Throughout my professional life I have tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from a humble background (his father worked in a shipyard and his mother in a pharmacy) and I do not want to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the companies observed in the world and I want to keep the focus on our products and the incredible things that our customers achieve with them, “said Cook at the time, who had always been a very secretive person regarding his personal affairs, although his orientation was an open secret sexual: he had publicly supported the LGTBI cause and had been chosen for four consecutive years as the most powerful gay man in America by the magazine ‘OUT’.

Born almost 60 years ago (his birthday on November 1) in Mobile, the third most populous city in the southern state of Alabama, and baptized in a Baptist church, he took into account his personal experience and what his explicit coming out of the closet (he did not hide his sexual orientation in his environment or in his company) could mean for people who had to go through a process similar to his : “I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I have benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple can help someone who is struggling to come to an understanding with himself for who he is, or bring comfort to someone who is feeling lonely, or inspire people to fight for equality, then my privacy is worth the exchange. ”

Anderson Cooper. (Reuters)
Anderson Cooper. (Reuters)

Cook, by the way, assured that “being gay is the greatest gift that God gave me” and years later he stressed that he did not regret at all the step he had taken. It was a very thoughtful decision that he consulted with Anderson Cooper, one of the most prestigious journalists in the United States and a key figure on CNN, who had taken that step many years before. A figure, by the way, very mediatic also because of his lineage, since he is the son of one of the most important socialites in his country, Gloria Vanderbilt, who died last year at the age of 95. It was crucial for him that his statement did not interfere with the future of Apple.

There are many challenges that Tim Cook has had to face and perhaps one of the most transcendental, in addition to the one already mentioned, was to face the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis when he was only 36 years old, in 1996. A condition that has also led him to actively participate in solidarity initiatives such as charity bicycle races (he is an accomplished athlete, he regularly goes to the gym and goes hiking). Regarding how he discovered that he had this ailment and went to the doctor to find the origin of the symptoms, he said in a meeting with students at Auburn University that “I felt as if I was carrying an incredibly heavy luggage.”

Very supportive

Another biographical fact that is crucial to understanding his personality was when he offered a piece of his liver to his predecessor in the company, Steve Jobs, in 2009, when he was already very ill with cancer that cost him his life in 2011. A chapter that appeared in the book ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’, published by journalists Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli in March 2015. The current CEO of the company underwent tests and his blood type matched that of the remembered genius and his doctors told him that he was compatible. “He cut off my legs before the words were almost out of my mouth. ‘No,’ he said, ‘I will never let you do that.’ Steve yelled at me only four times in the thirteen years I knew him and that was one of they”.

Steve Jobs. (Reuters)
Steve Jobs. (Reuters)

Six years after coming out of the closet, his purpose has been fulfilled, hardly anything of his personal life has transpired beyond the few clues he has given about it. He was once asked what he thought about marriage and he replied that it was not an issue to be raised. Another issue to which he gives little importance, apparently, is money, although he is officially a billionaire since Bloomberg attributes a fortune of more than 1,000 million dollars to him, which he would have amassed thanks to the Apple shares he has sold, those he keeps and his own salary, in addition to his position at Nike, where he has held various management positions. Light years away, yes, of the 100,000 million attributed to Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook or 56,000 of Larry Ellison from Oracle, to give just two examples.

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