This is true.
TeX was worked on by many of the most important hackers of the day, and it had wide and immediate uptake, both among the technical community and among the academics writing papers on computers. For example, my father (a linguist, not a programmer) was using TeX to lay out his papers in the early 1980s, because this is what everyone did.
Programmers didn't see a need to display source in pretty fonts, but typesetting and layout were problems that many people worked on, and most serious "computer people" recognized as important or interesting ones. People hacking BASIC on microcomputers did not represent the main stream of computing at the time, I'm afraid.
Steve Jobs' only accomplishment in this regard was to recognize that the word processors he saw at Xerox were prettier to look at than the ones he had on his Apple ][. I don't know if you've ever had a chance to play with a Dandelion, but they had a word processor that is clearly the source for all of the features that appear in the initial releases of Word and MacWrite. (not surprising in either case, of course - Jobs's team was instructed to duplicate the Dandelion, and Word was headed up by Charles Simonyi, who had come directly from PARC)
I know you're a big Apple fan, and that's totally cool, but really the level of innovation that the first iterations of the Macintosh represent is pretty minimal.
This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 08 July 2013 - 09:40 AM