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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Faces of the week

Our regular look at some of the faces which have made the news this week. Above are Steve Jobs (main picture), with Madonna, Fidel Castro, Bill Clinton and Glen Campbell.


When Steve Jobs founded the Apple computer company, he changed the face of computing. And this week his revolution in how we buy and listen to music expanded with the European launch of Apple's online store, iTunes.

Steve Jobs was a precocious talent. In 1967, when he was 12, he telephoned Bill Hewlett, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, at home, to ask for some electronic parts.

Hewlett offered him a summer job at his company, so setting him on the path to becoming an icon of the hi-tech industry himself.

He made friends there with engineering whiz-kid Stephen Wozniak. After the pair dropped out of college, together they built the first home computer in Jobs' garage. They called it Apple.

Within three years, thanks to the Apple II computer, their company was worth $139m. When Jobs took the very best designers and engineers and created, in 1984, the Macintosh - with its revolutionary windows system - a computer landmark was reached.

Steve Jobs close up
A temperamental, innovative genius
Apple might have ruled the world. But Jobs' stubborn refusal to license its operating system to rival computer manufacturers - in particular IBM - enabled Bill Gates' Microsoft to sweep all before it. Apple was left with a small niche market, and, as its fortunes declined, its creator was kicked out.

By tradition, that should have been it for Jobs. Though his friends say he became deeply depressed, he rallied to form a new computer company called NeXT.

But its obsession with design resulted in too expensive a product. Jobs was forced to kill off its hardware, and relaunch the company as a software developer.

Hollywood player

Then, remarkably, with Apple on the financial skids, Jobs was invited back. This time, his design obsession paid off. The new iMac, with its all-inclusive, translucent features, was the coolest product to emerge from Silicon Valley in years.

It seemed to represent the innovative, sleek, beautiful product that had always commanded such loyalty among Apple users. The company was once again in the black.

Jobs launching the new iMac in 2002
Launching the new iMac in 2002
Jobs refused to take a salary once back at Apple. He didn't need to. He had acquired the animation company Pixar from Star Wars creator George Lucas during his "wilderness" years. With a distribution deal with Disney, Pixar has been responsible for such blockbusters as Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Jobs graduated from millionaire to billionaire.

Now the exquisitely designed iPod has become the must-have acquisition in the way the Sony Walkman was in the 1980s.

And its accompanying iTunes service was voted Invention of the Year by Time Magazine in 2003. It has become the predominant legal music download system and incorporates a PC-compatible jukebox.

Jobs might have made Time's Man of the Year too, were it not for his rather messy personal life, including a daughter born out of marriage, and affairs with singer Joan Baez and artist Maya Lin.

Though he can be charming and engaging, his foul-mouthed temper has been likened to a blast furnace. He has three more children with his wife, Laurene Powell, whom he married in 1991.

Both are vegetarians, keep well out of the celebrity circus and, despite their riches, lead a relatively simple life.

"Our competitors try to do it cheaper; our strategy is to innovate," Jobs said this week.

Having lost the main battle with Microsoft, Apple has relied on innovation to make a healthy profit before the PC hordes catch up. Jobs has so far remained ahead of the game, against all the odds.

Glen Campbell

"By the time I get to Phoenix I'll be plastered," Glen Campbell might have sung. The Rhinestone cowboy has been sentenced to 10 nights in jail and two years' probation for a drunken hit-and-run collision in Phoenix, Arizona. The self-confessed alcoholic, 68, has since vowed to give up the booze. He told the judge: "I think that's the last you've seen of Glen Campbell putting alcohol in his veins."


She has been called the Queen of Reinvention. Now Madonna, not content with the name Madonna - after her mother who died when she was young, wants to be called Esther. It's all to do with her recent conversion to the Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism. But it seems Madonna/Esther is also a Nimby - she has failed to stop ramblers from being able to walk across her country estate in England.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton admitted this week that he nearly wrecked his marriage over his affair with Monica Lewinsky. He said he did it "for the worst possible reason - just because I could." The former president said he'd "lied to everybody". Intensive counselling, separately and as a family, kept his marriage together. Clinton's remarks came in a TV interview to promote his autobiography My Life, which is already a best-seller through advanced orders.

Fidel Castro

A letter emerged this week in the United States written to President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1940 by a 12 year-old Cuban boy named Fidel Castro requesting a $10 bill. He wrote: "Never I have not seen a 10 dollars bill green American and I would like to have one of them." Castro received a reply but no money. Nevertheless, he became a class hero and the letter was posted on the school notice board for a week.

Compiled by BBC News Profiles Unit's Bob Chaundy


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