Bono defends Jobs' record on charity

NEW YORK: Bono, the rock band U2's lead singer, has defended Apple's co-founder, Steve Jobs, after a New York Times columnist wrote the billionaire businessman was not giving enough to charity.

Mr Jobs had said there was ''nothing better than the chance to save lives'', when Bono approached him about a campaign to fight AIDS in Africa, the singer wrote in a letter to the newspaper.

Through the sale of branded products, Apple was the biggest contributor for the (Product) Red fund-raising brand to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, giving tens of millions of dollars, Bono wrote.

''I'm proud to know him,'' Bono, co-founder of (Product) Red, wrote about Mr Jobs. ''He's a poetic fellow, an artist and a businessman. Just because he's been extremely busy, that doesn't mean that he and his wife, Laurene, haven't been thinking about these things.''

The paper published Bono's letter after Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote in a column that Mr Jobs was not a ''prominent philanthropist'' despite having accumulated $US8.3 billion ($7.8 million) through holdings in Apple and the Walt Disney Company. There was no public record of Mr Jobs giving money to charity, Sorkin wrote.

Apple gives part of the price of (Product) Red special-edition iPods and iTunes gift cards to the fund.

Mr Jobs, who has cancer, resigned last month as Apple's chief.


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