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Big names and celebs part of billionaire's club
Obi-Akpere | March 8, 2008 at 08:44 amby
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largely unremarkable, yet another glossy gusher about Apple and its
founder. But beneath the trippy technicolor close-up of the face that
launched millions of iPods read the simple, big-bullet headline: iGod.
The canonization may be a touch premature, but Jobs has emerged as the West Coast digerati's biggest superstar, thanks to Apple's enviable lineup of cult gadgets. The former super-geek is now super-cool, boasting the accoutrements more commonly associated with, well, actual superstars like Mick Jagger -- groupies, rabid fans and even haters.
Acolytes line up with sleeping bags and coffee thermoses to sleep outside of San Francisco's Moscone Center the night before Jobs delivers his keynote speech at the Macworld convention. On YouTube, devotees pore over decades-old interview clips, video spoofs, even footage of a woman stalking a car on a California highway because its license plates read "S Jobs." He's spawned his own wannabes, including Forbes' own Dan Lyons, last year revealed to be the anonymous author of the outrageously popular "Fake Steve Jobs" blog.
In an era when business news commands the front page, it was inevitable that the richest men and women would become famous simply for being very rich. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was the richest man in the world for 13 straight years (he has been displaced this year by Warren Buffett). Wealth not only bought him access to the world's most exclusive events -- the World Economic Forum in Davos, the annual Sun Valley tech pow-wow -- but, more surprisingly, access to the world's biggest celebrities. Nerdy Gates has rapped "Big Pimpin'" with Jay-Z and shared Time magazine's "Person of the Year" cover with U2's Bono.