Report: Jobs Receiving Cancer Treatment, May Have Only Six Weeks To Live2:25 PM EST Thu. Feb. 17, 2011
The National Enquirer has caused a media feeding frenzy with what it is calling its "shocking photos" of a weak, "cancer stricken" Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a claim that the computer genius could have "only six weeks to live!"
"Shocking photos obtained exclusively by The ENQUIRER show the 56-year-old cancer-stricken computer genius has become rail-thin and heartbreakingly weak in recent days despite putting up a tremendously courageous battle," wrote the Enquirer in a story Thursday on its Web site NationalEnquirer.com. "Since the print edition of the new issue of The ENQUIRER containing this blockbuster story began hitting newsstands on Wednesday in New York, media outlets worldwide have reported our story - and some websites have even attempted to rip off our exclusive photos!"
The Enquirer says the photos of Jobs were taken outside the Stanford Cancer Center -- the same place where actor Patrick Swayze was treated before passing away in 2009.
"The heartrending photos show the terrible damage cancer has done to Jobs' 6-foot-2 frame - dropping his weight from a precancer 175 pounds to about 130 now," reports the Enquirer. "One of our experts - Boca Raton, Fla., critical care physician Dr. Samuel Jacobson, who has not treated Jobs - told The ENQUIRER: "The poor guy! Judging from these photos, he is close to terminal. I would say he has six weeks."
"At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health," Jobs wrote in an email to Apple employees. "I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company."
"I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can," continued Jobs. "In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy."
Jobs didn't say whether his most recent medical leave was cancer related. Meanwhile, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has taken over day to day operations at Apple in the wake of Jobs' absence.
A phone call to Apple's media hotline to comment on the Enquirer report was not returned at press time. A phone call to the Enquirer itself to confirm the photos were not photoshopped or doctored was not returned at press time.
Apple's stock fell slightly on the Nationa Enquirer's report; the company's shares had dropped more than 1 percent, or approximately $5 a share, at press time.
Bob Venero, president and CEO of Future Tech, a Holbrook New York solution provider and a big fan of Steve Jobs and the Apple products created by Jobs including the iPhone and iPad, cautioned that it would be a mistake to assume the photos are evidence of a six week death sentence for Jobs.
"These photos are absolutely fuzzy and very shadow based," said Venero. "There are many weekends I look worse than that! He is going through challenging times that could impact his appearance, but that doesn't mean that he is dying."
Venero said he wishes Jobs a speedy recovery, saying the industry needs him as a creative force to drive new technology breakthroughs.
"He is one of the most brilliant and impactful icons of our century," said Venero. "Just like there were times when Apple as a company was down and out, they came back. I expect the same thing from Steve."
After viewing the National Enquirer photos, Venero stressed that "we are living in a world where unproven information can take a life of its own on the internet."