The Biography of Steve Jobs

Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24th 1955 in San Francisco, California. His biological mother was Joanne Schieble and his biological father was Abdulfattah Jandali, a native Syrian. Joanne’s father, who Abdulfattah Jandali has described in interviews as a “tyrant”, refused to allow Joanne to marry Abdulfattah, due to him being Syrian. Joanne decided that the best course of action would be to give the child up for adoption and told his biological father her decision.

Without telling anyone, including Jandali, she left Wisconsin and moved to San Francisco to have the baby, feeling it was the only way to avoid a scandal and not bring shame onto the family.

Joanne Schieble had a college education as did Abdulfattah and one of Joanne’s stipulations for Steve’s adoptive parents was that they be equally educated. However, the candidates for his adoption, Paul and Clara Jobs, did not meet these qualifications.

Paul Jobs was a machinist for a firm that made lasers in what became Silicon Valley, in Northern California, but had not graduate from high school and Clara was an accountant with a high school education but had never finished college.

At first Joanne refused to allow them to adopt Steve, but later rescinded and decided to allow the adoption, but only under the condition that Steven be given a proper college education.

Steve was a wild child and didn’t care much for formal education and it wasn’t until he met Imogene “Teddy” Hill, his fourth grade teacher, that he started taking an interest in his school work.

In his own words, “She was one of the saints of my life. She taught an advanced fourth grade class, and it took her about a month to get hip to my situation. She bribed me into learning.”

She did actually bribe him, with candy and even $5 bills from her own pocket. Due to this unique motivation, he ended up skipping the 5th grade and going straight to Crittenden Middle School. Though school officials recommended that he skip two grades on account of his test scores, his parents elected for him to skip only one grade.

Unfortunately, Crittenden Middle School was in a poor area and was full of bullies who often bullied young Jobs. One day he had enough and told his parents he was not going to go to school anymore unless he was transferred to another school. Paul and Clara complied with his request and moved the family to Los Altos where Steve attended Cupertino Junior High and later Homestead High School in Los Altos.

Upon entering Homestead High School, Jobs enrolled in a very popular electronics class taught by John McCollum. It was during this time that he became friends with Bill Fernandez, who shared his interest in electronics. Bill then introduced Jobs to Stephen Wozniak, or “Woz” as he was better known. Steve was 14 and Woz was 19 when they met in 1969. At the time Woz and Fernandez were working on a computer system which they dubbed “the Cream Soda Computer”. When Woz showed the design to Jobs, Jobs was very interested in their plans and showed a better than average understanding of the concept.

In his autobiography, “iWoz”, Wozniak writes “Typically, it was really hard for me to explain to people the kind of design stuff I worked on, but Steve got it right away. And I liked him… we talked electronics, about music we liked and we traded stories about pranks we’d pulled.”

After he graduated in 1972, he enrolled and was accepted into Reed College in Portland. However, he soon found the subject matter to be boring and dropped out after only 2 years, to return home to Palo Alto. It was at this time that Jobs got a job working for Atari.

Jobs saved his money up and went on a quest for enlightenment, traveling to India, but found little success in his quest and shortly returned home to resume working for Atari. Atari offered $100 for each chip that could be reduced in their machines, and Jobs made a deal with Wozniak to work on reducing the chips and splitting the money. Wozniak and Jobs was able to reduce the chip count in the Atari machines by 50, but Jobs told Woz that he had only been given $700 and gave him $350. The design was later proven to be impossible to reproduce in a production environment.

In 1976 Jobs convinced Wozniak to start a company to sell printed circuit boards, after Wozniak had showed Jobs a computer he had designed. On April 1st 1976, Apply Computer Company was born, which ended up building and distributing complete computer systems, bringing Apple Computers into the personal computer business.

The very first computer built by Jobs and Wozniak’s new upstart was dubbed “The Apple Computer” or Apple I, which was followed by the Apple II a year later. While the Apple I met with very little interest, the Apple II became very successful. The Apple III was released in May of 1980, but it was met with less success.

In 1984, Apple released the Macintosh computer, which was the first personal computer to come with a graphical user interface. The Macintosh computer did so well that apple completely abandoned the Apple II line of computers.

In 1985, Jobs was stripped of his duties by the Apple Board of directors and resigned, selling all but one of his Apple shares. After leaving Apple, Jobs founded another company called Next Computers, and released the Next Cube, which was feature rich but failed to make it as it was too costly for most home users. After having sold under 50,000 Next Cubes by 1993, Jobs moved Next into the software market.

One of Next’s software programs was called “Interface Builder” and was used to write the very first World Wide Web 1.0 program. While working with Next, Job discovered the portability and sophistication of the UNIX operating system and was able to provide Apple Computers with a solid operating system.

In 1996 Apple bought Next for $402 million and Jobs ended up going back to work with Apple, as Apple’s interim CEO. Most of the software developed by Next ended up being used by Apple, with the Operating System “NeXTSTEP” eventually turning into the Mac OS X operating system.

After Job returned to Apple as CEO, Apples profits begin to soar. During this time Apple released the iMac computer, with bright colors and aesthetically pleasing designs, the iMac sold very well. Piggybacking on the success of iMac, apple relased a line of portable music players called iPods, which played digital music which could be bought through iTunes, which has also met with tremendous success.

During 1986, while still operating NEXT, Jobs also acquired Lucas films computer graphics division for $10 million and renamed it Pixar. This company went on to procure a contract from Walt Disney to produce animated movies, which Disney would help finance and distribute. Pixar several box office hits such as Toy Story 1 and 2, Monster’s Inc. and Finding Nemo. In 2005, however, there were some contract problems between Pixar and Disney, which resulted in Disney acquiring Pixar in an all-stock transaction for a whopping $7.4 billion.

On March 18, 1991, Jobs married Laurene Powell in a wedding attended by over 50,000 people. Their Son, Reed was born September 1991, and they had two more children, Erin, who was born in 1995 and Eve, born in 1998. Jobs also had a daughter out of wedlock with his High School sweetheart, Chrisann Brennan who was named Lisa Brennan. Jobs developed a good relationship with Lisa and had her name changed on the birth certificate, when she was 9 years old, to Lisa Brennan-Jobs.

October 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And in 2004, he announced to his employees that he had a cancerous tumor in his pancreas. He tried natural healing to thward the disease and found his condition only worsening. According to Jobs’ biographer, Walter Isaacson, “for nine months he refused to undergo surgery for his pancreatic cancer – a decision he later regretted as his health declined.”

On January 14, 2009 Jobs wrote, in an internal Apple Company memo, that he had “learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.” And announced that he would be taking a 6-month leave of absence to allow him to focus on his health. At this time Tim Cook became acting CEO of Apple.

In April 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant and was given a good prognosis and went back to work with Apple Computers. However, a year and half later, on January 17, 2011, Jobs announced that he would be taking an extended leave of absence due to health issues.

On August 24, 2011, Jobs announced his resignation as Apple’s CEO. He became the chairman of the board and Time Cook became his successor as CEO.

On October 5, 2011 Jobs died at his Palo Alto, California, due to complications from a relapse of his previously treated cancer which resulted in respiratory arrest. He died with his wife, children, and sisters at his side.

His sister, Mona Simpson, described his final words: “Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times. Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them. Steve’s final words were: OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”

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