Steve Jobs

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Steven Paul Jobs born February 24, 1955 and died October 5, 2011 was an American entrepreneur and business magnate. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and a co-founder of Apple Inc., chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company’s board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are widely recognized as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.

Steven Paul Jobs was born to Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Schieble and was adopted by Paul Jobs and Clara Hagopian in the Bay area, California in 1955.His biological father, Abdulfattah “John” (al-)Jandali grew up in Homs, Syria, and was born into an Arab Muslim household. Mona Simpson, Jobs’s biological sister, notes that her maternal grandparents were not happy that their daughter was dating Jandali: “it wasn’t that he was Middle-Eastern so much as that he was a Muslim. But there are a lot of Arabs in Michigan and Wisconsin. So, it’s not that unusual.”There had been issues right from the beginning regarding granting guardianship to Paul and Clara by his birth mother, Joanne Carole Schieble.

She wanted to give her son up to a well-educated family so that he could attend college. Therefore, she had second thoughts about giving him up to the blue-collar couple, Paul, and Clara. Joanne even took the matter to court cover and handed over custody of her son only after she was promised that he would attend University.

After an additional adoption of a daughter Patricia, the family of Paul and Clara and moved to Mountain View, CA in 1961.  Paul did several jobs but found a hobby repairing cars while Jobs loved working on electronics instead.

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By the time Jobs was 10, he had made friends with all the engineers around the neighborhood.  Jobs never really made good friends with people of his age, but he did not find any difficulty making friends with adults.

Although incredibly smart, Jobs lacked right guidance. His father, who was abused as a child never wanted the same for his son, therefore rarely ever reprimanded him and his father was also a great believer in him.

In his 4th-grade, Jobs was encouraged to study better with a bribe from his teacher. She used the bribery method, which doesn’t sound like it would work but, in those days, five bucks was a lot of money for a young boy to receive just to have finished his schoolwork. “That really kindled a passion in me for learning things! I learned more that year than I think I learned in any other year in school. They wanted me to skip the next two years in grade school and go straight to junior high to learn a foreign language but my parents very wisely wouldn’t let it happen.” Although it was initially suggested that he skip two years his parents didn’t like the idea, so he skipped only the fifth grade and transferred to the Crittenden middle school and got admitted in the 6th grade instead.Paul and Clara made Jobs a priority, and as a result moved to a different location to provide him a more conducive environment for his education. 

Even though it ate up most of the savings, Paul and Clara moved to Los Altos and got Jobs moved to a better school in Cupertino. The new house had even more engineers around, and Jobs found seventh heaven. It was here that Jobs made Friends with Bill Fernandez who also shared his hobby of electronics and in the same grade as him at school. Bill was responsible for a lot of good things in Jobs’ live. Other than having the honor of being his only friend in the new neighborhood, Bill was the one that introduced Steve Jobs to Steve Wozniak, an 18-year-old alumnus of the school, who lived right across the street from Bill.

Jobs attended Homestead High School and began his first year there along with Bill Fernandez. Neither of them over from engineering household and both of them were very interested. They enrolled in electronics 1 but soon lost interest since they were both electronically much advanced in the knowledge.

In the mid-1970s, Steve discovered Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and the Classic literary stuff, which prompted him to take creative writing lessons. He also got immersed in the music of that time, leading him to develop two different circles of friends.  One that was in electronics and the other in art and literature. In his senior year, he was best friends with Wozniak and his girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, who was an art major.

Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland Oregon in 1972. It was an Expensive college, and his parents could hardly afford it. Jobs decided to drop out of college because he did not want to spend all his parents’ money on it. Instead, he continued to attend by auditing classes although he was not an official student while living with his friend Daniel Kottke in his dorm. Jobs states that during this period, he slept on the floor in friends’ dorm rooms, returned Coke bottles for food money, and got weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. The main course he paid most attention to was a calligraphy course taught by Robert Palladino.  In an interview Jobs said “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.” Prior to the founding of Apple, Jobs worked at Atari Inc as a technician in 1973 after he presented a classic video game known as Pong which was redesigned by Steve Wozniak. It was assumed that Jobs had built the game which qualified him for the Job. According to Brennan, Jobs was living a simple life at this time, living in a cabin, working at Atari and saving money for his planned trip to India.


In 1974, Jobs had enough savings to finance his trip to India with a friend, Daniel Kottke from Reed College for the search of enlightenment. Unfortunately, the person they planned to visit had passed away the previous year. Jobs spent 7 months in India, which influenced his character, believe and appearance. Back home from India, Jobs experimented with psychedelics, later calling his LSD experiences “one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life.” He spent a period at the All One Farm, a commune in Oregon and Brennan joined him there for a period.

Jobs returned to Atari and was assigned to create circuit boards for video games like breakout. Bushnell offered Jobs hundred dollars for each chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little specialized knowledge of circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the fee evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Together they created history. They developed such a circuit board that was impossible to reproduce in an assembly line.

Wozniak had designed a low-cost digital blue box to generate the necessary tones to manipulate the telephone network, allowing free long-distance calls. Jobs decided that they could make money selling it. The clandestine sales of the illegal “blue boxes” went well and perhaps planted the seed in Jobs’ mind that electronics could be both fun and profitable.  Jobs said that if not for the blue boxes, there would have been no Apple.

In 1976 Wozniak invented Apple 1 computer and when he showed it to Jobs, he suggested that they sell it. The two of them and Ronald Wayne formed a company together naming it Apple computers, in the garage of Steve Jobs’ Los Altos home.

Wayne stayed only for a short time leaving Wozniak and Jobs to be the two active primary co-founders of the company. Working out of his dad’s garage Jobs faced a lot of negative comments from people in his neighborhood. According to Daniel Kottke, Jobs was the only person who worked in the garage, Wozniak only supplied the codes. Most of the early work took place from his kitchen door as they tried to find investors. Finally, they received funding from Mike Markkula, who was the semi-retired Intel marketing manager and also an engineer.

By early 77 a prototype of Apple computer was ready and later that year Jobs and Wozniak introduced Apple II at West Coast computer faire. It was the first consumer product sold by Apple computers and one of the highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products. The primary designer was Steve Wozniak.  Jobs oversaw the development of the Apple II’s unusual case and Rod Holt developed the unique power supply. Jobs and Apple became more successful, and his relationship with Brennan grew more complex.   In 1977, the success of Apple was now a part of their relationship, and Brennan, Daniel Kottke, and Jobs moved into a house near the Apple office in Cupertino. Brennan eventually took a job in their shipping department.

However, she left Apple shortly following pregnancy, she was ashamed of being unwed and pregnant with Steve’s child. Steve was against putting the baby up for adoption, and he was very angry about the fact that she did not accept his offer of staying at Apple. It led to her living a hard life cleaning houses and living in different places, and when Steve was just 23, Brennan gave birth to their daughter, Lisa. Jobs and Brennan were unanimous on the name, and he made sure to work on a phrase that would acronym to Lisa so that he could name the next Big product Apple Lisa.After continuous denials of paternity on Jobs’ part, when it was proven with a legal test Jobs paid $500 per month to Brennan for child support. Her interview with Time Magazine denied Steve Jobs the “Time person of the Year award” as she spoke about the relationship and his behavior towards her. Instead, they decided to name the computer, Apple Lisa, “Machine of the Year”.

Jobs was worth 1 million dollars when he was 23 and by the time he was 24 he was up to 10 million; by the time he crossed the 100 million net worth mark, he was just 25.

The business started undergoing a downfall in sales and profits in the early 1980s despite the heavy marketing of Macintosh. As a result, the executives at Apple started phasing out Jobs, blaming him for the loss they were suffering.In 1983, Jobs hired John Sculley from Pepsico to serve as Apple’s CEO. Scully and Jobs’ visions for the company was so different that it led to a new division being created inside the company, and Jobs tendered his resignation which the board declined and asked him to reconsider.

However, a few months later he did resign to the board which led to another five senior Apple employees to also resign and following Jobs to his new company, NeXT.

Jobs founded the company in 1985 after his resignation from Apple, and with the help of Ross Perot, who invested in the company, they showcased their computer to the world which was considered Jobs’ comeback event.  The workstation was first released in 1990 and just like Apple Lisa it was technologically advanced but expensive, and therefore not affordable to the general public and the educational sector for which it was designed.

He purchased another company in the following year 1986, which was later named ‘Pixar Animation Studios’. Jobs believed in this new venture so much so that he invested 50 million dollars of his own money into it. This company is the producer of the smash hit animations such as ‘Toy Story’, ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘The Incredibles’.  They received over 5 Academy Award nominations for best animated feature, an award that was introduced only in 2001.

In 2006, Walt Disney agreed to purchase Pixar with 7.4 million dollar worth of stocks.  Steve Jobs became the largest shareholder and a board member with 7.4% stock which on his death passed on to Steve Jobs fund run by his wife, Laurene Jobs.

NeXT Inc. was not as successful as Steve would have hoped it to be. In 1996, Apple announced that they would like to buy NeXT for 427 million dollars when the deal was finalized in 1997 it brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded. The person who was blamed for the downfall was the one to bring back its lost glory and this time never to leave again. He was wiser, older and more experienced. He merged NeXTSTEP with Apple products creating Mac OS X. It led to the introduction of iMac and other new products. By 2000 Steve Jobs top being the interim CEO and became the permanent CEO. The company subsequently branch out under his guidance improving digitally via the iPod, launched the iTunes store.In 2007, they launched the first multi-touch cell phone for iPhone, which included the features of an iPod as well as a web browser.Jobs was a very demanding perfectionist he was both admired and criticized for his skills of persuasion as well as salesmanship. He aspired to position his product and his business at the absolute front of the IT industry by foreseeing and setting style Trends for innovation.

The introduction of inventive and trendy products and huge effective marketing strategies worked the magic and then once again the consumers had their loyalties with Apple.

Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003 and after a surgery the tumor was removed successfully. Jobs was a very private man and disclosed very little about his ailing health which did not seem to get in the way of his flourishing accomplishments. In the following years he presented other ground-breaking products such as the MacBook Air, iPhone and the iPod.

In January 2011 after his liver transplant, Steve Jobs decided to take a medical leave of absence. Tim Cook was made the Permanent CEO of the company, however, Steve was to be a part of any major strategic decision that was to be made by the company. He appeared at the iPad 2 launch and also delivered the keynote speech introducing iCloud. It was only in August 2011 that he announced resignation apple’s CEO. He became the Chairman of the board and surprisingly named Tim Cook as his successor at the helm of Apple.

He continued to work for the company up until six weeks before his death. Steve Jobs died on 5th October 2011 at his home in Palo Alto California. Steve Jobs died peacefully with his family surrounding him. A small private funeral was held, but the details were not revealed to the public out of respect to his family.  Apple, Pixar, Microsoft, Disney everyone flew their flags half-mast in his remembrance from October 6th to 12th 2011.While he was alive and years after his death, Steve Jobs has been honoured for how much he imparted to the world with his knowledge, inventions and innovations.In 1985 he was awarded National Medal of Technology (with Steve Wozniak), by US President Ronald Reagan. In 1987, he received Jefferson Award for Public Service, he was awarded Entrepreneur of the Decade by Inc. magazine in 1989, also in 1991he received Howard Vollum Award from Reed College.

In 2007 he received two honours: Named the most powerful person in business by Fortune magazine and was Inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.

After his death in 2011, his innovation earned him Grammy Trustees Award in 2012, an award for those who have influenced the music industry in areas unrelated to performance. In 2013 Posthumously inducted Steve Jobs as a Disney Legend and most recently in 2017 Steve Jobs Theatre opens at Apple Park.