Walter Isaacson

Literary Birthday – 20 May – Walter Isaacson

Happy Birthday, Walter Isaacson, born 20 May 1952.


  1. One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.
  2. I think when you’re looking for people to interview, you want to make it fair and honest. You’re not just bringing people on so you can beat them up or, you know, make fools out of them or something.
  3. Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are.
  4. When there are multiple versions of a story, you really have three ways to go. You can pick the most sensational version. You can try to balance things in your gut to get to what you think is the honest truth. Or you can err on the side of kindness.
  5. I hope that some day scientists can be considered heroes again, instead of Paris Hilton.
  6. If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.
  7. Progress comes not only in great leaps but also from hundreds of small steps.
  8. Authority should be questioned, hierarchies should be circumvented, nonconformity should be admired, and creativity should be nurtured.
  9. Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.
  10. Innovation requires articulation.

Walter Isaacson is an American writer and journalist. He was the chairman and CEO of CNN and the Managing Editor of Time. His books include biographies of Steve Jobs (Steve Jobs), Benjamin Franklin (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life), Albert Einstein (Einstein: His Life and Universe), and Henry Kissinger (Kissinger: A Biography). His most recent book was The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.

Source for image

David Shankbone, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 20th May 2018