Steve Jobs and ... Owsley Stanley?

March 19, 2011: 6:40 AM ET

A New York Times op-ed piece strains to make a connection

Stanley at his 1967 arraignment for LSD possession. Photo: San Francisco Chronicle

It's true that John Markoff's What the Dormouse Said (Penguin, 2005) quotes Steve Jobs as saying that taking LSD was "one of the two or three most important things he has done in his life."

And it's true that Augustus Owsley Stanley III, who died in a car accident last Sunday in Australia at age 76, manufactured and sold more than 1.25 million doses of high-quality lysergic acid diethylamide before the U.S. criminalized the hallucinogenic drug in 1968.

But to suggest that Owsley was the Steve Jobs of LSD, as Michael Walker does in Saturday's New York Times, seems a bit much.

On the paper's op-ed page, Walker, the author of Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock 'n' Roll's Legendary Neighborhood (Faber & Faber, 2010) draws several comparisons between Apple's (AAPL) co-founder and LSD's most famous underground manufacturer:


  • Dr. LSD to Steve Jobs: How was your trip?

    "Dear Mr. Jobs," begins the 2007 letter from Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann to Apple's (AAPL) CEO. "I understand from media accounts that you feel LSD helped you creatively in your development of Apple computers and your personal spiritual quest. I'm interested in learning more about how LSD was useful to you."

    Hofmann, as students of the sixties will recall, was the chemist who first synthesized, ingested and experienced the psychedelic effects MORE

    - Jul 9, 2009 9:59 AM ET
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