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October 6, 2011updated 19 Aug 2016 9:28am

Steve Jobs was a lot of things. But a Leonardo da Vinci?

Softbank CEO says Jobs was "genius of our time"


Vitruvian Man

Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

Amidst the outpouring of grief for the sad death of Apple boss Steve Jobs, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son has compared him to Leonardo da Vinci.

Softbank is the sole carrier of the iPhone in Japan, a decision that helped its profits and subscriber numbers to soar – so Son has reason to be thankful for Jobs’ talents.

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs," Son said in a statement. "Steve was truly a genius of our time, a man with a rare ability to fuse art and technology. In centuries from now, he will be remembered alongside Leonardo da Vinci. His achievements will continue to shine forever."

Steve Jobs was a lot of things. But whether he is quite up there with da Vinci, I’m not so sure.

Da Vinci of course was a sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. He is widely considered one of the best painters of all time, and has been called the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

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Jobs certainly seemed to be able to blend an artistic sensibility with fantastic technological and entrepreneurial skills, that helped grow Apple into the largest technology firm on the planet.

But whether Apple’s iPod will end up in the history books on the same page as da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, or Apple’s Lisa feature in the same chapter as da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, I’m not convinced.

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