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Biography of Apple Founder Steve Jobs

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A brief Introduction:

This hub is a short biography of Apple's founder Steve Jobs.

In this hub, I have not gone into every aspect of Steve Jobs' life in great detail, as there is so much information about his life, his achievements and so many other things related to his professional side. I have briefly published here an overview of the life of Steve Jobs, both personal and professional.

Steve Jobs was an American Entrepreneur and inventor and he was the co-founder, CEO and chairman of Apple Inc. He was born on the 24th of February 1955 in San Francisco, California. He was born to Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali who were graduate students of the University of Wisconsin.

Steve was given up for adoption and he was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs. Clara was an accountant and Paul was a coast guard veteran, a mechanic and carpenter. Jobs did not know about his biological parents until he was 27. He was also co-founder and chief executive of Pixar animation studios and was also a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company when Disney took on Pixar.

Jobs left Apple in 1985 due to an issues relating to power/role in the company and found NeXT. He returned to Apple after a failure with the company when it was not able to deliver its operating system. He worked initially as an adviser and interim CEO.

Jobs developed so many successful products and services after this and Apple became world’s most valuable "Publicly Traded Company" in 2011. Jobs received many honours and recognitions for his work in technology and music industries.

Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003 and went through a liver transplant in 2009, but his health declined because of which, he resigned Apple in August 2011 and died shortly after his resignation, on the 5th of October 2011.

Steve's biological parents

Steve's biological parents

Biography of Steve Jobs

Early Life:

  • Jobs, a week after he was born, was put up for adoption by his biological parents Joanne Schieble, who is a Swiss catholic and Abdulfattah Jandali, who is a Syrian. Jobs was put up for adoption because, they were unmarried at that time and also because Joanne’s family objected to this relationship.
  • Jobs was adopted by at birth by Paul Jobs and Clara jobs who promised to encourage and support Jobs to attend college. Jobs always said that Paul and Clara were his parents.
  • Jobs’ parents moved from San Francisco to the Mountain View within California’s Silicon Valley when he was five years old. They also adopted a daughter later and her name is Patty.
  • Jobs spent time with his father working on electronics in the family garage, where his father showed him how to reconstruct electronic appliances like radio and television and his mother taught him to read even before he attended school.
Steve Jobs with his father Paul Jobs (1958)

Steve Jobs with his father Paul Jobs (1958)

  • Jobs was an intelligent young boy and an innovative thinker who was also frustrated with the facts of formal schooling but did well at school.
  • He studied at Monta Loma Elementary school in Mountain View where he was recommended to skip grades due to his good scores.
  • He then attended Cupertino Junior High School and Homestead High School in Cupertino in California where Jobs became friends with Bill Fernandez who was interested in electronics and was also his neighbour.
  • Jobs was introduced to Steve Wozniak a computer whiz kid by Fernandez and Wozniak was his future partner in Apple, in 1971. Jobs was at High School at that time and Wozniak was in University. They both got on well together because of their love for electronics and ideas on digital chips. Wozniak, Fernandez and Jobs were interested in working on electronics and computer boards.
  • Jobs graduated from High School in 1972 and enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon which was an expensive college.
  • Clara and Paul found it difficult to pay for their son’s education, but still managed with their savings.
  • Jobs left college in 6 months and spent his time attending creative classes including calligraphy and also auditing classes at Reed College. He spent his days sleeping on the floor of his friends’ dorm rooms and having free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple.

Jobs later said that the multiple type faces and proportionally spaced fonts in Mac were because of his classes in Calligraphy and it was that interest and knowledge that helped him develop a love for typography.

Mini BIO : Steve Jobs

Personal life:

Personal life:

  • Steve Jobs’ biological parents married ten months after they gave him away for adoption and they later had a daughter called Mona. They divorced in 1962 after which Joanne remarried and had the stepfather’s surname for her daughter and hence she was called Mona Simpson.
  • Jobs found out about his biological sister in the 1980s when he met his mother Joanne and he met Mona for the first time in 1985.
  • Steve and Mona started looking for their biological father and found out that he managed a coffee shop and a restaurant in the past where Steve Jobs used to eat. Steve stayed away from his biological father as he did not like what he had come to know about him being a revolutionary, but was in touch with his biological mother who lives in a nursing home in Los Angeles.
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Steve Jobs with his family

Steve Jobs with his family

Steve Jobs with wife Laurene Powell in 2010

Steve Jobs with wife Laurene Powell in 2010

Jobs visited India in 1974 with a Reed college friend to visit Neem Karoli Baba at his Kainchi Ashram, in search of spiritual enlightenment. They came to know that Neem Karoli baba had died in Septemebr 1973 after they reached there. They then went to another ashram and traveled in India, to a few ashrams and spiritual places for almost seven months and returned to the U.S. Jobs' appearance had changed, with a shaved head and traditional Indian clothing. He also practiced Zen Buddhism.

  • Steve’s long-time partner was Chris Ann Brennan who was a painter and they both had a child in 1978, called Lisa Brennen-Jobs. Jobs first denied paternity for the child and later acknowledged that Lisa was his daughter.
  • Jobs married Laurene Powell on the 18th of March 1991 in a ceremony presided by a Zen Buddhist Monk, Kobun Chino Otogawa at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. They have three children, son Reed born in September 1991, and two daughters Erin born in August 1995 and Eve in 1998 and they all live in Palo Alto in California.
  • Steve’s mother Clara died in 1986 and his father Paul died in March 1993.

Jobs was a fan of The Beatles and mentioned them quite often in interviews. He also said in an interview on “60 minutes” that his business model was “The Beatles”.

Quote by Steve Jobs

Quote by Steve Jobs

The San Remo

The San Remo

  • Jobs bought an apartment in 1982 in The San Remo building in New York. He renovated it for years and sold it to U2 singer Bono.
  • Jobs bought a 14 bedroom Spanish Colonial mansion in 1984, in Woodside California and lived there for almost ten years. This house later was demolished in February 2011 after so many objections from local preservationists.
  • Jobs lived in a house in Palo Alto after that in the early 1990s where he dined with the then President Clinton and 14 other CEOs of the Silicon Valley on the 7th of August 1996.

Jobs was a pescetarian and he usually wore a black long sleeved turtleneck by Issey Miyake, sometimes also said was by St Croix, blue Levi’s 501 jeans and New Balance 991 sneakers. He said that this was convenient for him and also said that it conveyed a signature style.


Early career:

  • Jobs started work as a technician at Atari Inc. in Los Gatos in California in 1974 where he was given an assignment to create a circuit board for a video game called “Breakout”.
  • $100 was offered to Jobs for every chip he removed from the circuit board.
  • Jobs had little knowledge of circuit board designs and hence took the help of Wozniak placing a deal that he would share the fees evenly between them if Wozniak could reduce the number of chips.
  • Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50 which took the Atari engineers by surprise.

Apple computer:­

  • In 1976, Jobs and Wozniak along with Ronald Wayne formed the Apple Computer Company at Jobs’ family garage selling circuit boards.
  • They both brought about a revolution in the computer industry by making smaller, cheaper and affordable machines.
  • Wozniak designed user-friendly personal computers while Jobs looked at the marketing side.
  • The computers were initially marketed for $666.66 each and they were the first model of apple computers called Apple I.
  • Three years later, Apple II was released which was Apple’s second model of computers and the company’s sales increased by a huge percentage.
  • Apple Computer became a publicly traded company in 1980.
1984: The Big Mac

1984: The Big Mac

In the early 1980s Apple Lisa was created, and this was a year after which Macintosh was discovered by an employee at Apple. Macintosh was introduced to the audience on the 24th of January 1984, at an Apple’s shareholders’ meeting.

Jobs at this time was described as an erratic manager by his employees. The sales of Apple computers declined and there was power struggle between Jobs and Sculley. After a board of directors meeting at Apple, Jobs was removed as head of Macintosh division, and five months after that, Jobs resigned.

NeXT computer:

Jobs found NeXT Inc. the same year (1985), and said later on in a speech in Stanford University in 2005, that it was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.

Steve Jobs in a speech at Stanford University in 2005

Steve Jobs in a speech at Stanford University in 2005


Building of NeXT and Apple:

  • Jobs initially had $7 million and was running out of money in a year after he started NeXT computers.
  • Billionaire Ross Perot invested in Jobs’ company.
  • Jobs first NeXT work stations were released in 1990, which was an advanced machine, technology wise, but the price was too high. Jobs said that it was aimed at the financial, scientific and academic community.
  • The second generation NeXTcube was released in 1990, an interpersonal computer with its multimedia email systems.
  • NeXT released NeXTSTEP/Intel in 1993 and also released WebObjects.
  • Apple Inc. bought NeXT in 1997 and WebObjects was used to build and run the apple store, iTunes store, etc.

The Graphics Group:

  • Jobs bought The Graphics Group from Lucasfilm and renamed it to Pixar, while working on NeXT computers.
  • Pixar’s first film in partnership with Disney was Toy story, and later many movies were produced under this partnership, for example, Ratatouille, Cars, Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life, etc.
  • There were issues around the renewal of the contract between Pixar and Disney in early 2004 which were resolved later and Jobs became Walt Disney Company’s single largest shareholder.
  • Jobs later had 7% of Disney’s shares and upon his death, the shares were transferred to the Steven P. Jobs trust which is led by his wife Laurene Jobs.

CEO of Apple, rebuilding Apple and Innovations:

  • After Apple bought NeXt, Jobs became the interim Chief Executive in September 1997.
  • In order to make Apple profitable again, Jobs terminated many projects and a few people lost their jobs.
  • Jobs changed the licensing program for Macintosh clones.
  • NeXTSTEP evolved into Mac OS X.
  • Apple's sales increased and new products like iMac were introduced.
  • In 2000 Jobs became a permanent CEO at Apple and many more devices like the iPod, the iPhone, the iTunes store etc. were introduced.

10 Inspiring Steve Jobs Quotes - R.I.P.

  • The “Think Different” campaign for Apple was started in late 1997
  • Jobs announced at Macworld San Francisco in January 1998, that Apple was profitable again
  • iMac was introduced in May 1998
  • New Power Mac G3 and colour iMacs were introduced in Jan 1999
  • Mac OS X 10.0 was released in March 2001 and Apple’s first retail store was opened in May 2001 at the Tysons Corner in Virginia
  • The iPod was announced in October 2001
  • iMac G4and iPhoto were announced in July 2002
  • Apple opened iTunes in the US in April 2003
  • Power Mac G5 was announced in June 2003
  • iPod mini was introduced in January 2004
  • iWork, Mac mini and the iPod shuffle were announced in January 2005
  • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was released in April 2005
  • Jobs announced Intel Macs, the iMac and new MacBook Pro in January 2006
  • iPhone was released in the US in June 2007
  • Macbook Air, the world’s thinnest notebook was introduced in January 2008
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was released in August 2009
  • iPad was announced in January 2010
  • iPhone 4 was released in July 2010
  • iPad 2 was released in March 2011

Management and Personality:

Jobs was a perfectionist and always set trends in innovation and styles for his business. He was considered as one of the egomaniacs of Silicon Valley because of his aggressive and demanding personality. He was also said to be changing his mind so quickly about things and has been commented by many on this. Jobs never interfered with any creative work of the filmmakers at Pixar.



Jobs found out that he had a rare form of pancreatic cancer in October 2003. Jobs postponed his surgery and took other treatments for his cancer. After nine months, in mid 2004 Jobs had a successful surgery where the tumor was removed. Jobs regretted postponing his surgery at a later stage when his health started deteriorating.

Jobs health started deteriorating, but it was kept private despite many concerns and questions from his shareholders about his health. Jobs wrote an internal Apple memo in January 2009, to say that his health issues were complex and that he was taking a six months leave to focus on his health. Jobs underwent a liver transplant in April 2009 at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute, Memphis, Tennessee. Later on the 17th of January 2011, Apple announced that Jobs had been granted medical leave of absence. During both his medical absences, Tim Cook was the acting CEO.