Is Steve Jobs sick again, or just thin?


I’ll leave it to others much more informed than I am to parse through what Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced at the developers conference (although I am glad to hear that we Canucks will be getting a 3G iPhone soon, along with dozens of other countries). But I have to say that one thing really struck me while watching the live-blogging coverage at Gizmodo and Engadget and MacRumours: Jobs looked emaciated. I looked back through photos from the developers conference last year and the year before, and there were comments and blog posts then about how thin he looked — and this time he looked even thinner than that. You could see his collarbone through his shirt (photo courtesy of Engadget).

As most people probably know, Jobs was diagnosed with a form of pancreatic cancer in 2003 and was operated on in 2004 — after reportedly not seeking treatment for more than nine months, while he pursued a range of holistic therapies. Although pancreatic cancer is one of the worst forms of the disease, however, Jobs had a rarer form known as a neuroendocrine tumour, which can often be cured through surgery. That said, many cancers recur even after treatment, especially if they have metastasized (that is, spread to other organs such as the liver or kidney). Of course, there’s no way of knowing.

I’m not the only one who noticed Jobs’ size — it was commented upon by many people on Twitter, and Valleywag wrote a post saying that rumour has it he is on a strict vegan diet. Let’s hope that’s all it is. Note: Some people have told me privately that they think writing about Steve Jobs and his health is “creepy” or otherwise inappropriate, but I have to disagree. The man is the high-profile CEO of a major technology company, and arguably more important to the health and brand identity of that company than the CEO of any other company I can think of. His health is a matter of public interest, not just prurient curiosity.


Plenty of other places are talking about Steve’s gaunt appearance now, including the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times tech blog, Eric Savitz at Barron’s and Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider. The Apple Insider blog says that according to the company Jobs has been suffering from a “common bug.”

Comments (23)

  1. In the know wrote::

    Steve has cancer. I heard from an insider, it is bad and its pancreal. I feel very sorry for him.

    Monday, June 9, 2008 at 8:04 pm #
  2. Mzjpuff wrote::

    Yeah he “HAD” pancreatic cancer in 2003/2004 and he recovered. Why do you feel sorry for him?

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 2:47 am #
  3. Benjamin M wrote::

    What´s wrong with you Mzjpuff, you are an idiot. Can´t you see how thin he is and even if he was on a diet he looks old for his age. He is not even 60.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 7:01 pm #
  4. LGW wrote::

    Well, we had those stories going around two years ago:

    so… what? I think he's just thin. Stressed out, maybe. Nothing to worry about. Or so I tell myself *sigh*

    Just remembering what happend when Apple had lost him the last time – it was ugly. Ugly indeed. We would be stuck with Linux and Google again.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 6:44 am #
  5. maxenzo wrote::

    Stuck with linux? if was not for linux and BSD you would not even have your mac OSX you probably love.Just be carefull with your words.

    Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm #
  6. Liz wrote::

    I don't know about this rare form but my boss was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last April and passed away in December. It's a very aggressive cancer. I'm glad to here that Jobs had an operable form and I wish him good health. He sure seemed to have energy, notwithstanding the weight loss.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 10:12 am #
  7. NotKissApple wrote::

    Okay – He's suffering from a bug, oh, we meant he's on a strict Vegan diet, oh we meant he's working too hard…

    C'mon Apple, make up our minds…

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm #
  8. tokerud wrote::

    All I can say is, it scares me. I am a huge Steve Jobs fan. Watching the keynote, I immediately worried about him looking too thin, frail, not energetic. I knew he had had pancreatic cancer (the good kind) so that may have increased my inclination to go there. Also, we know he kept his cancer secret for 9 months when he first had it. I don't feel confident that he or Apple would disclose his condition were it serious. I would love to be convinced otherwise as soon as possible.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 7:30 pm #
  9. Amy wrote::

    I am very worries about him, too. I am a huge Steve Jobs fan, as well, and I immediately noticed how thin he looks. I really hope he's ok. I know some people are concerned because they're stockholders, but I have no financial interest in Apple whatsoever. I'm just a big fan of Steve Jobs.

    Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 11:59 am #
  10. tokerud wrote::

    OK. I've now scoured the web and believe that Steve was ill and has temporarily lost weight, but will be fine. His surgery to eliminate the tumor he had 4 years ago has an effect that results in weight loss so that has him thin to begin with. A GI related illness could both cause further weight loss and make him look sick. Considering what Apple has accomplished in the last few months, I can't imagine he is on his death bed. I'm letting it go and expecting him to make a quick recovery. I'm sorry he has to put up with all this speculation.

    Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 1:57 pm #
  11. 60'er. wrote::

    Hope he is ok. And he MUST be ok, there is no other way. I want to see more WWDC's. more and more amazing products, presented by a guy, who really did change the face of the industry. Long live Steve and Apple.

    Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 5:58 pm #
  12. DW wrote::

    Whether he is ill or not, how can people blame him for not disclosing? He is a fighter and probably wants to be around until he no longer can work. Why should he have to make any announcement until then? Why should the company go down when he can still make a difference? It is not a right for the public to know. Respect his privacy. We here in his hometown do.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 2:23 pm #
  13. Carts wrote::

    he is vegetarian

    If he is blood type A, he is ok

    If he is O, he needs meat

    If you eat the wrong food for your blood, you can get cancer more easily

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 5:33 am #
  14. Benjamin M wrote::

    I´m sorry to see Jobs apparently sick. He´s got a lot of things to give us yet. Hope he can get better.


    Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 6:46 pm #
  15. He looks like a sick person.. Because of his body

    Monday, February 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm #
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    Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 10:37 am #
  17. What´s wrong with you Mzjpuff, you are an idiot. Can´t you see how thin he is and even if he was on a diet he looks old for his age. He is not even 60.

    Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 7:16 am #
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  22. RalphieKameron wrote::

    Him being sick is an option but not the only one. After having a pancreatic cancer operation, his pancreatic function may have diminished and the nutrients in his food don't get processed quite as well there for the weight loss.
    HCG diet Seattle consultant

    Friday, January 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm #
  23. Samuel wrote::

    I am big fan of Steve Jobs. I know some people are concerned.
    I know you have cancer. but don,t worry, stressed out. please say that “All is well” and relax. Isagenix Calorad

    Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 6:40 am #

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