On October 5, 2011, the Chief Executive Officer of Apple®, Inc., Steve Jobs, died from pancreatic cancer. Media outlets covered the event with fervor, and the public responded in kind. The purpose of this study was to examine public reaction to Jobs's death from pancreatic cancer in relation to general and health-specific information-seeking, as well as interpersonal communication. Using a survey conducted within weeks of Jobs's death (N = 401), high awareness of this event was found, as were significant amounts of information-seeking and interpersonal communication with regard to his death. Emotional responses to his death were found to be the best predictors of related health communication behaviors. Along with descriptive findings of who communicated, with whom, when, and about what, these findings provide guidance for health communicators, who may use celebrity cancer announcements or deaths to capitalize on increased attention to the disease.
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