Jobs represented the American ideal: a self-made man who started a company in his garage, innovated his way into our everyday lives (after an amazing corporate comeback) and went on to change the world [Oct. 17]. Now he's gone, and we mourn in unprecedented fashion for a corporate icon because we see his death as symbolic of our collective decline. President Obama seems impotent. Congress is flailing. The Federal Reserve is out of bullets. The innovators must lead us out of this economic fog. But for now the flag is at half-staff. Who will inspire us again?
Brian Davis, LA GRANGE, ILL., U.S.
After reading through your reports on how Jobs rose, fell and rose again, and how much he contributed to the world by changing the way we listen to music, read and use cell phones, I sincerely hope you will consider choosing him as TIME's Person of the Year.
Bruce Yang Po-Chih, CHANGHUA, TAIWAN
All my music is on iTunes, my reading is on my iPad, and my distant friends and family are on FaceTime. To think that 10 years ago, the iPod was in its infancy, and today my children don't know life without it. Jobs truly was the Thomas Edison of our time.
Shane Rayford, MASON, OHIO, U.S.
I agree that Jobs was a man of vision and an outstanding entrepreneur, but we need to remember one thing: his company produced electronic gizmos and computers to make a profit, not to make the world a better place. Since his death, some of the tributes have been exaggerated.
Gary Chow, AUCHENFLOWER, AUSTRALIA
I'm sorry Jobs is dead, but his impact is being grotesquely overrated. He is being compared ridiculously to Thomas Edison, who gave us the lightbulb, for chrisakes, and Henry Ford, who put an entire planet on wheels. Stripped of all the adulation and hyperbole, Jobs' little shop is revealed as little more than a technoboutique that has never commanded more than a small fraction of the computer market.
Louie R. Geiser, STILLWATER, OKLA., U.S.
Father of the Pacemaker
It was gratifying to see that amid the whirlwind of justified coverage of Jobs, you provided a few words on the passing of Wilson Greatbatch, inventor of the pacemaker [Milestones, Oct. 17]. While Jobs made his mark by producing fantastic products people hadn't realized they wanted, Greatbatch invented a product that saved hundreds of thousands of lives and, in doing so, made a contribution to society that was no less meaningful than that of Apple.
Dave Pettigrew, CLARENCE, N.Y., U.S.
If I am ever asked which six people, living or dead, I would invite to a dinner party, Greatbatch would be much higher on my list than Jobs. If it weren't for Greatbatch, I'd have lost a few of my dear friends a long time ago. Thank you, Mr. Greatbatch, for your unsung diligence in saving human lives. Thank you also, Mr. Jobs, but for a lot less, even though your obituaries are a lot longer than the scanty column dedicated to the man who invented the pacemaker.
Geoff Gay, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
Joe Klein has missed the mark in writing that New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie "showed he has real respect for the office [of President] and the public" [When He's Good and Ready, Oct. 17]. Christie line-item-vetoed funding for sexually and physically abused children and cut millions from needed programs for the elderly and the sick. Hundreds of teachers, police officers and firefighters were laid off. He botched New Jersey's chances for Race to the Top funding and thumbed his nose at a federally funded tunnel under the Hudson River that would have provided jobs for many. But he continues to assure billion-dollar corporations and millionaires that he will not increase their taxes. The upside to Christie's decision not to run is that he spares the American public his bullying persona; the downside is that we in New Jersey are stuck with him.
Camille Gaeta, KEARNY, N.J., U.S.
You state that 51.4% of low-income women in the U.S. had a mammogram during a two-year period, compared with 73% of their wealthier peers [Briefing, Oct. 17]. This is a disgraceful figure for a wealthy country. How can conservatives in America justify their efforts to block President Obama's attempt to give good medical care to the poor when they see figures like this? Compare this with the U.K.'s National Health Service, which the American right derides and which offers mammograms to 100% of women in the qualifying age range, no matter how wealthy or poor they are.
Steve Forster, LIVERPOOL
Re "The Hard Truth About Going 'Soft'" [Oct. 17]: It is appropriate that, a few pages before the tribute to Jobs, Fareed Zakaria points out a loss of the American ethic of delayed gratification, as reflected in U.S. families' household debt. Indeed, the crux of Jobs' empire is the ability to leverage off the world's current obsession with instant gratification.
V. Rajesh Babu, AUCKLAND