Tim Cook Explains How He Decided to Come Out

By Mario Aguilar on at

Tim Cook appeared on Stephen Colbert’s new Late Show last night, and Colbert roasted Apple’s CEO with his usual charm.

The clip above is one of the more serious exchanges from the segment. Colbert asks Cook about the company’s evolving social agenda, and specifically about how Cook updated the company’s position with regards to charity; he embraces it, whereas Steve Jobs was famously stingy.

He also tackles the once-thorny topic of Cook’s sexual orientation, and why he didn’t come out of the closet until recently.

Colbert: You recently came out as gay. Was that an upgrade? Or just a feature that had not been turned on? Laughs. The reason I ask, is was that experience of growing up in Alabama as sort of a resident outsider because of your sexuality, did that inform in any way your trying to help people who are in hardship around the world.

Cook: It did, yeah. In all honesty, every day I come to work, right in front of my desk I have a photo of Robert Kennedy and a photo of Dr. King, and every day I sort of ask myself... It’s Dr. King’s quote: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others.”

And it became so clear to me that people were getting bullied in school, kids were getting basically discriminated against, kids were even being disclaimed by their own parents, and that I needed to do something. And where I valued my privacy significantly, I felt I was valuing it too far above what I could do for other people. I wanted to tell everyone my truth.

Good on you, Tim Cook.

Unfortunately, the clip above is only two minutes long, so you don’t get to see Cook and Colbert make their way through the just-announced iPhone’s latest features.