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Who Changed Your Life More? Edison or Jobs?


The 21st century may be imprinted with the image of Steve Jobs who died too young yesterday.

The 20th century may be imprinted with the image of Thomas Edison.

The common ground may be that American know-how, ingenuity, and creativity actually changed the world. We say all too often that America has lost its innovative edge.

Steve Jobs, like Edison, may have a core of inventions that spilled over into everyday life in ways that the original creators may have not considered.

Once the ball is in play, kicked, hit, and dunked by the creative genius, the engineers of life run with the ball. 

So it has been for Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison. Their contributions are the stuff of the start-up button for a million daily tasks.

Alas, for Steve Jobs he has been depicted in a movie called The Pirates of Silicone Valley, and he was played by Noah Wyle. Though Jobs complimented the performer, it seems a small potato.

Thomas Edison was played by Spencer Tracy in 1940, a few years after his death in Edison the Man. A sequel starred Mickey Rooney as the young Edison.

We may wonder when Robert Pattinson will play Steve Jobs. Perhaps he would be less accurately played by an irritating young teenager actor like Justin Bieber, who has designs on becoming a movie star.

Great people are often victims of their own fame. When Hollywood gets around to doing the life of Steve Jobs in a movie, we know his legacy will be effectively fitted with cement shoes.


William Russo writes often about movies. One of his books, cowritten with Jan Merlin, is MGM MAKES BOYS TOWN, starring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney. Russo's movie books are available on e-book for your tablet, or in print for your bookshelf.


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