To coincide with Steve Jobs’ appearance in the National Portrait Gallery’s new “American Cool” exhibition, Cult of Mac had the opportunity to speak with Charles “Chuck” O’Rear — the photographer who took the 1981 portrait of Jobs currently on display.
O’Rear, 73, recalls Jobs being aloof and preoccupied but — despite being young (he was just 27) — carried a real aura that this was someone who couldn’t be ignored.
“We had barely heard of him at the time,” O’Rear says. “With the same project I ended up photographing names like David Packard and Bill Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, and Bill Noyce of Intel — all of who were better known than Steve. But there was a sense that Steve was a renegade, and so we should make sure we get his picture.”