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Steve Jobs – A short Biography
Steve Jobs, the American businessman and technology visionary who is best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc., was born on February 24, 1955. His parents were two University of Wisconsin graduate students, Joanne Carole Schieble and Syrian-born Abdulfattah Jandali. They were both unmarried at the time of his birth. Jandali, who was teaching in Wisconsin when Steve was born, said he had no choice but to put Jobs up for adoption because his girlfriend’s family objected to their relationship.
Jobs was adopted at birth by Paul Reinhold Jobs and Clara Jobs. Later, when asked about his “adoptive parents,” Jobs replied emphatically that Paul and Clara Jobs “were my parents.” He stated in his authorized biography that they “were my parents 1,000%.” Unknown to him, his biological parents would later marry, have a second child, novelist Mona Simpson, in 1957, and divorce in 1962.
The Jobs family moved from San Francisco to Mountain View, California when Steve was five years old. The parents later adopted a daughter, Patti. Paul was a machinist for a company that made lasers, and taught his son rudimentary electronics and how to work with his hands. The father showed Steve how to work on electronics in the family garage, demonstrating to him how to take apart and rebuild electronics such as radios and televisions. As a result, Steve became interested in and developed a hobby of technical tinkering. Clara was an accountant, who taught him to read before he went to school.
Jobs experienced frustrations during his formal schooling. At Monta Loma Elementary school in Mountain View, he was a prankster whose fourth-grade teacher needed to bribe him to study. Jobs tested so well, however, that administrators wanted to skip him ahead to high school—a proposal his parents declined. Jobs then attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. During the following years, Jobs met Bill Fernandez and Steve Wozniak, a computer whiz kid.
Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Reed was an expensive college which Paul and Clara could barely afford. They were spending much of their life savings on their son’s higher education. He did not want them to struggle to pay for college. So he dropped out after six months and spent the next 18 months sitting in on creative classes, including a course on calligraphy. He continued auditing classes at Reed while sleeping on the floor in friends’ dorm rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple.
With his good friend Steve Wozniak, Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 to sell the Apple 1 personal computer. The duo gained fame and wealth a year later for the Apple 2, one of the first highly successful mass-produced personal computers. This was followed by the successful Macintosh in 1984. Following a long power struggle, Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985.
After leaving Apple, Jobs went on to found NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in state-of-the-art computers for higher-education and business markets. In addition, his new company Pixar, would eventually produce the first fully computer animated film, Toy Story.
In 1997, Apple purchased NeXT, allowing Jobs to become the former’s CEO once again. He would return the company, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, back to profitability. Beginning in 1997 with the “Think Different” advertising campaign, Jobs worked closely with designer Jonathon Ive to develop a line of products that would change the world, including including iMac, the iPod, iTunes Store, the iPhone, and Apple Store and iPod.
Jobs died at his California home around 3 p.m. on October 5, 2011, due to complications from a relapse of his previously treated pancreatic cancer.