Over a million people from all over the world have been touched by Steve Jobs’ passion and creativity that he left in the form of revolutionary technologies like iPhone, iPad, Mac and more.
Jobs has been remembered as a demanding perfectionist, who always aspired to position his businesses and their products at the forefront of the IT industry by foreseeing and setting innovation and style trends.
Steve Jobs’ mother gave him up for adoption just after his birth
Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California, to Abdulfattah “John” Jandali and Joanne Carole Schieble. His father met his mother at the University of Wisconsin; John was pursuing a Ph.D. and was teaching assistant while Joanne was a student there.
Schieble’s parents were against their relationship because Jandali was from Syria and was Muslim. It was reported that her parents had even threatened her to behead her.
In 1954, Schieble became pregnant, while they were spending their summer in Syria with Jandali’s parents. Job’s parents, both 23 at that time, weren’t ready to get married and raise the child. So, without letting anyone know, Schieble left Jandali and went to San Francisco, where Steve was born.
Raising the kid as a single mother was almost impossible to her, so she finally chose an adoptive couple, Paul, and Clara Jobs, who suffered ectopic pregnancy and couldn’t bear a child.
Steve would say his adoptive parents as his real parents and biological parents as ‘sperm and egg bank.’ Jandali also later stated that ‘I really am not his dad. Mr. and Mrs. Jobs are, as they raised him. And I don’t want to take their place.’
Jobs family later moved to Mountain View, California in 1961. Paul built a workbench in his garage for his son to pass his passion for mechanics to Jobs as well.
Steve Jobs was always odd among his classmates in schools and college
Steve was deeply involved in electronics at just 10 and befriended many engineers in the neighborhood. As he had difficulty making friends with his age mates, he used to be a loner in his class. He was often suspended from school for misbehaving with the teachers. But his dad never reprimanded him. Instead, he blamed the school and teachers for not placing enough challenges for his son.
The stubborn boy compelled the family to move to a new home in Los Altos, California. The house later became the first site for Apple Computer and was declared a historic site in 2013. Even in high school, his classmates didn’t like him thinking that he was odd. He befriended Steve Wozniak and Bill Fernandez in junior high school.
He graduated from the Homestead High School and went to Reed College in 1972. Jobs was in a relationship with Chrissan Brennan, whom he met at at the high school. Their relationship was complicated due to Jobs’ odd nature.
Paul and Clara were spending much of their life saving for their son’s education. His college years became a tough phase of his life as he returned Coke bottles for food money, slept on the floor in friends’ dorm rooms and got weekly free meals at local Hare Krishna temple. He couldn’t afford the college study and finally dropped out.
After dropping out from the college, he rented a cabin in Los Gatos and started working as a technician at Atari, Inc. Afterwards, he traveled to India in the mid-1974 with one of his Reed College mate, Daniel Kottke, and spent seven months there taking bus rides from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh in search of spiritual enlightenment.
At that time, he started living with his parents again and got deeply involved in Zen Buddhism, engaging in meditation retreats. He returned to Atari and earned certain money developing circuit board for a video game with Wozniak.
History of Apple Inc. and Steve Jobs’ love life
In 1975, Jobs and Wozniak attended meetings of Homebrew Computer Club. The following year, Wozniak developed Apple I computer and showed it to Jobs. The two partnered with Ronald Wayne and formed Apple Computer in the garage of Jobs’ Los Altos home. Then, Steve spent hours on phone calls trying to find investors for the company. Finally, then-semi-retired Intel marketing manager, Mike Markkula funded them.
It was then he fell in love with Brennan again. In early 1977, Jobs and Brennan would spend time together at her home at Duveneck Ranch in Los Altos. That same year, Jobs and Wozniak introduced Apple II, which was the first consumer product sold by Apple Computer. It was primarily designed by Wozniak while Jobs oversaw the development of the unusual case of the computer and Rod Holt developed the unique power supply.
While Jobs and Apple started becoming successful, his love life grew more complicated. Growth in Job’s place at Apple was deteriorating their relationship. So Brennan, who was then a shipping manager at Apple, decided to call it off. Meanwhile, Brennan found she was pregnant with Jobs’ child and then left Apple.
Jobs initially refused to accept the paternity of their child but went on developing the computer, Apple Lisa, named after her daughter who was born in 1978. He refused to give money for child support at first, but after a DNA test proved him to be Lisa’s father, he started giving her $500 a month.
He was worth a million dollar in 1978, which grew to 10 million in 1979 and 100 million the next year when he was just 25. Next few years were turbulent for Apple as it suffered significant design flaws, resulting in consumer disappointment. In 1984, Apple released Macintosh, which saw positive sales but wasn’t IBM compatible yet. John Sculley, the then Apple CEO, believed Jobs was hurting Apple and pushed him into a marginalized position. Finally, after losing official title with the company which he co-founded, he left Apple in 1985.
NeXT Computer marked another milestone Steve Jobs reached in the tech world
Jobs was joined by additional five Apple employees who resigned with him. With $7 million, he founded NeXT Inc. Billionaire Ross Perot heavily invested in the company when Jobs was running out of money. NeXT workstations were first released in 1990. Like the Apple Lisa, the NeXT workstation was technologically advanced which made it one of the strong contenders in the tech market.
Jobs marketed NeXT products to the scientific, financial and academic community, highlighting its experimental new technologies like the digital signal processor chip, the Mach Kernel, and built-in Ethernet port. English computer scientist, Tim Berners-Lee used the NeXT computer to invent World Wide Web in 1989.
The revised, 2nd generation NeXTcube was released in 1990, which was cited as the first interpersonal computer that could replace PC. NeXTcube revolutionized human communications as it could share voice, image, graphics, and video in email for the first time. In 1993, NeXT transitioned fully to software development and released NeXTSTEP/Intel and WebObjects.
Apple Inc. acquired NeXT in 1997 and Jobs was brought back to the company, following which he became the CEO of the company in 2000.
Steve Jobs’ return to Apple and revitalization of company’s profits
Just as he instigated Apple’s success in the ‘70s, he revitalized the company to profitability in the 1990s. With the new management team and altered stock options, he put the company back on track. His ingenious products and stylish designs caught the attention of consumers once again.
Later Apple introduced such revolutionary products like MacBook Air, iPod, and iPhone that have dictated the evolution of modern technology. In 2008, iTunes store, which was built using WebObjects, became the second-biggest music retailer in the US. Apple Inc. has been ranked no. 1 on Fortune’s list of “America’s Most Admired Company.”
He resigned from his position of Apple’s CEO on August 24, 2011, and named Tim Cook as his successor. He continued to work as chairman of the board until six weeks before his death.
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectation as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
– Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs fronted Pixar Animation Studios for two decades
In 1986, Jobs purchased an animation company, The Graphics Group, which was later renamed Pixar Animation Studios. In the next 15 years, the studio produced wildly popular movies like A Bug’s Life, Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo and collectively collected $4 billion.
Pixar produced movies under contract with Disney since its initial release in 1995, but Jobs failed to negotiate with then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner to renew the contract in 2003. Pixar later merged with Walt Disney in 2006, making Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder after Bob Iger replaced Eisner as CEO of Disney.
Steve Jobs’ meeting with estranged birth family and married life
Steve reconciled with his daughter, Lisa, and then-girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan after he was forced out of Apple in the mids-80s. Lisa had her name on her birth certificate changed from Lisa Brennan to Lisa Brennan-Jobs. During the same time, Jobs found out about his biological mother Joanne Schieble Simpson and sister Mona Simpson. However, he didn’t contact his birth family until his adoptive mother died of lung cancer in 1986 and his father Paul permitted him.
Afterwards, he went to know his family history. Six months after Jobs was given up for adoption, Schieble’s father passed away, and his parents got married, and Mona was born. He also learned about his biological father in the later years. However, none of his parents were aware of their relationship with Jobs.
He met his future wife, Laurene Powell at the Stanford School of Businesses, where he was a lecturer, and she was a student. He later said about their first meeting:
Laurene was right there in the front row in the lecture hall, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her…kept losing my train of thought, and started feeling a little giddy.
– Steve Jobs
Laurene shared the same upbringing as Jobs had but she was athletic unlike him. He popped the question to her on New Year’s Day 1990 with a fistful of freshly picked wildflowers, and they got married on 18 March 1991 in a Buddhist ceremony. Among the 50 attendees were his father Paul and sister Mona.
The couple welcomed their first child, Reed in September 1991 and two more children, Erin and Eve were born in 1995 and 1998 respectively. The family lived in Palo Alto, California.
Steve Jobs’ died at age 56 due to pancreatic cancer
Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2003 and in 2004 he announced to his Apple employees that he had a rare but curable islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. He relied on a pseudo-medicine diet to try natural healing for nine months but later had successful surgery to remove the tumor in 2004. Harvard researcher Ramzi Amri stated that his choice of alternative treatment led to his early death.
In early 2009, reports surfaced about Jobs’ weight loss, some predicting that he had a liver transplant. He responded to the reports stating that he was dealing with a hormonal imbalance. He died at age 56 on October 5, 2011, due to a respiratory arrest resulted by his nearly a decade-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He took his last breath at his home in Palo Alto. He was buried in an unmarked grave at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto.
A number of books have been written about his life and career, including a 2012 young-adult biography by Karen Blumenthal, an authorized general biography by Walter Isaacson, and Becoming Steve Jobs by Rick Tetzeli and Brent Schlender.
Additionally, a few biopics inspired by the late computer icon’s life have been released, including Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher, and Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2012 and was honored with Grammy Trustees Award in 2012.
Throughout his lifetime, he received several awards and honors, including Howard Vollum Award by Reed College in 1991, Entrepreneur of the Decade by Inc. magazine in 1989, Jefferson Award for Public Service in 1987 and National Medal of Technology in 1985. He was inducted into California Hall of Fame in 2007.