Steve Jobs Named 'Most Fascinating Person of 2011'

In a first for Barbara Walters’ annual “Most Fascinating Person of the Year” program, Steve Jobs was posthumously honored with the title.

Last night, Walters told audiences that Jobs was being considered for the title when he announced his retirement in August. When he died in October, Walters said, she knew her team was “sticking with their choice.”

Never before has anyone been named Person of the Year posthumously; rules for contention require the person be living. But as Walters explained, “rules were made to be broken.”

Jobs was known for many things: his vision, creativity, determination, and success. He helped form Apple, Inc. and revolutionized personal computing with the creation of the Macintosh in 1984. During the 27 years since then, Apple, Inc. has grown rapidly and been at the forefront of change.

According “DigiTimes Research” analysts, “13.5 million all-in-one PC’s will ship this year, and iMac will lead the charge with an estimated 3.7 million shipments.”

The iPod debut in 2001 led to instant popularity and several models, including the iPhone.

On Walters’ special, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger spoke of Jobs’ work ethic, which was very demanding: “He wanted things insanely great and would accept nothing less than that.”

But there was a softer side to Jobs, who married Laurene Powell in 1991. He was the father of four and was known for being a devoted family man. “Family and Apple were the two most important things in his life,” according to Iger.

Jobs was also a philosopher and gave the commencement address at Stanford University in 2005. The video has since gone viral and gained increasing popularity among Jobs’ followers.

He famously told the crowd, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Jobs “was always seeing something we couldn’t and that’s what makes him the most fascinating person of 2011,” Walters concluded.

Jobs died at the age of 56 after a long battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.