What Did Steve Jobs' Last Words Mean?

People are fascinated by his 'Oh wow': Christopher John Farley

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 31, 2011 11:05 AM CDT | Updated Oct 31, 2011 1:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – It’s easy to infer meaning from Steve Jobs’ last words, “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.” After all, he had reportedly been talking to his biographer about God and the afterlife as the end of his own life neared, writes Christopher John Farley in the Wall Street Journal: “Was Jobs’ final wow somehow connected?” It’s a question many will probably ask, since “people are fascinated by last words.” They can sum up a life, reveal a person’s most honest opinions, or even—maybe—“give us … insight or information about what’s really on the other side.”

Jobs’ last words were reported by his own sister, who was in the room with him at the time. But for many final utterances, a more relevant question than “What does it mean?” may be, “Is it accurate?” Oscar Wilde’s so-called last words (“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”), for example, were apparently said “many days before his death,” and George Gipp may not have ever truly requested that his team “win one for the Gipper.” As for Jobs’ last line, Farley offers up Thomas Edison’s eerily similar final words for comparison: “It is very beautiful over there.”

In this June 6, 2011, file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs appears during a keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
In this June 6, 2011, file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs appears during a keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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