In a recent television interview, an emotional Bill Gates discussed his complex relationship with Steve Jobs, saying that the duo "grew up together."
"We were within a year of the same age and we were kind of naively optimistic and built big companies," Jobs told host CBS Charlie Rose. "We achieved all of it, and most of it as rivals."
A 1999 made-for-TV movie, for example, portrayed Jobs (Noah Wyle) as an egomaniacal but charismatic leader who battled for tech dominance with Gates, played by Anthony Michael Hall.
In his biography, meanwhile, Jobs told Walter Isaacson that "Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas." Gates ultimately shrugged off that criticism.
Still, despite their tumultuous relationship, "we always retained a certain respect, communication, including when he was sick, I got to go down and spend time with him," Gates said.
When Rose asked Gates what the two had discussed during those last days, Gates - fighting back tears - responded "about what we'd learned, about families, anything."
Much of the 60 Minutes interview, meanwhile, focused on Gates's philanthropic efforts, including his work to eradicate diseases like polio, tuberculosis, and malaria in the next decade. Gates has used his expertise in technology to help develop gadgets to help those in the third world, like toilets that don't need plumbing and coolers that keep vaccines cold without electricity.
The interview is embedded below; Gates's discussion of Jobs comes in at the 11:25 mark.