Steve Jobs, the American businessman and technology visionary who is best known as the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer 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. Jandali, who was teaching in Wisconsin when Steve was born, said he had no choice but to put the baby up for adoption because his girlfriend’s family objected to their relationship.
The baby was adopted at birth by Paul Reinhold Jobs (1922–1993) and Clara Jobs (1924–1986). 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 subsequently marry (December 1955), 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 his son 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’s youth was riddled with frustrations over 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 ill afford. They were spending much of their life savings on their son’s higher education. Jobs dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping 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
In 1976, Wozniak invented the Apple I computer. Jobs, Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, an electronics industry worker, founded Apple computer in the garage of Jobs’s parents in order to sell it. They received funding from a then-semi-retired Intel product-marketing manager and engineer Mike Markkula.
Through Apple, Jobs was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields. Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar.
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.