Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc.; the 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 is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with his early business partner and fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, California, and put up for adoption. He was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Reed College in 1972 before dropping out that same year, and traveled through India in 1974 seeking enlightenment and studying Zen Buddhism.
Jobs and Wozniak co-founded Apple in 1976 to sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer. Together the duo gained fame and wealth a year later with the Apple II, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputers. Jobs saw the commercial potential of the Xerox Alto in 1979, which was mouse-driven and had a graphical user interface (GUI). This led to the development of the unsuccessful Apple Lisa in 1983, followed by the breakthrough Macintosh in 1984, the first mass-produced computer with a GUI. The Macintosh introduced the desktop publishing industry in 1985 with the addition of the Apple LaserWriter, the first laser printer to feature vector graphics. Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985 after a long power struggle with the company's board and its then-CEO John Sculley. That same year, Jobs took a few of Apple members with him to found NeXT, a computer platform development company that specialized in computers for higher-education and business markets. In addition, he helped to develop the visual effects industry when he funded the computer graphics division of George Lucas's Lucasfilm in 1986. The new company was Pixar, which produced the first 3D computer animated feature film Toy Story (1995), and went on to become a major animation studio, producing over 20 films since then.
Jobs became CEO of Apple in 1997, following his company's acquisition of NeXT. He was largely responsible for helping revive Apple, which had been on the verge of bankruptcy. He worked closely with designer Jony Ive to develop a line of products that had larger cultural ramifications, beginning in 1997 with the "Think different" advertising campaign and leading to the iMac, iTunes, iTunes Store, Apple Store, iPod, iPhone, App Store, and the iPad. In 2001, the original Mac OS was replaced with the completely new Mac OS X (now known as macOS), based on NeXT's NeXTSTEP platform, giving the OS a modern Unix-based foundation for the first time. Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor in 2003. He died of respiratory arrest related to the tumor at age 56 on October 5, 2011.
Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, to Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Schieble, and was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs.
His biological father, Abdulfattah 'John' al-Jandali (Arabic: عبد الفتاح الجندلي), grew up in Homs, Syria, and was born into an Arab Muslim household. While an undergraduate at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, he was a student activist and spent time in prison for his political activities. He pursued a PhD at the University of Wisconsin, where he met Joanne Carole Schieble, a Catholic of Swiss and German descent. As a doctoral candidate, Jandali was a teaching assistant for a course Schieble was taking. Walter Isaacson, author of the Steve Jobs biography, states that Schieble's father "threatened to cut Joanne off completely" if she continued the relationship.
Schieble became pregnant with Steve Jobs in 1954, when she and Jandali spent the summer with his family in Homs, Syria. According to Jandali, Schieble deliberately did not involve him in the process: "without telling me, Joanne upped and left to move to San Francisco to have the baby without anyone knowing, including me."
Schieble gave birth to Steve Jobs on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco and chose an adoptive couple for him that was "Catholic, well-educated, and wealthy," but the couple later changed their mind. Steve Jobs was then placed with Paul and Clara Jobs.
Paul Reinhold Jobs was a Coast Guard mechanic. After leaving the Coast Guard, Paul Jobs married Clara Hagopian in 1946. Their attempts to start a family were halted after Clara had an ectopic pregnancy, leading them to consider adoption in 1955.
As neither of them had a college education, Schieble refused to sign the adoption papers, and took the matter to court in an attempt to have her baby placed with a different family, and only consented to releasing the baby to Paul and Clara after the couple pledged to pay for the boy's college education. Steve's first cousin, Bassma Al Jandaly, maintains that his birth name was Abdul Lateef Jandali.
When he grew up, Steve Jobs would become upset when Paul and Clara were referred to as his "adoptive parents"; he regarded them as his parents "1,000%". With regard to his biological parents, Jobs referred to them as "my sperm and egg bank. That's not harsh, it's just the way it was, a sperm bank thing, nothing more."
Paul and Clara adopted a girl, Patricia(who would be Steve Jobs's sister) in 1957 and by 1959 the family had moved to the Monta Loma neighborhood in Mountain View, California. It was during this time that Paul built a workbench in his garage for his son in order to "pass along his love of mechanics." Jobs, meanwhile, admired his father's craftsmanship "because he knew how to build anything. If we needed a cabinet, he would build it. When he built our fence, he gave me a hammer so I could work with him ... I wasn't that into fixing cars ... but I was eager to hang out with my dad."
Jobs had difficulty functioning in a traditional classroom while attending Monta Loma Elementary School in Mountain View, but his father Paul (who was abused as a child) never reprimanded him, and instead blamed the school for not challenging his brilliant son.
Jobs would later credit his fourth grade teacher, Imogene "Teddy" Hill, with turning him around: "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 would say, 'I really want you to finish this workbook. I'll give you five bucks if you finish it.' 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." Jobs skipped the 5th grade and transferred to the 6th grade at Crittenden Middle School in Mountain View where he was often "bullied", and in the middle of 7th grade, he gave his parents an ultimatum: they had to either take him out of Crittenden or he would drop out of school.
Though the Jobs family was not well off, they used all their savings in 1967 to buy a new home, allowing Jobs to change schools. The new house was in the better Cupertino School District, Cupertino, California. (In 2013, The house, a three-bedroom home on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California, was declared a historic site, as it was the first site for Apple Computer, ND. As of 2013, it was owned by Patty and occupied by Jobs's step-mother, Marilyn).
The location of the Los Altos home meant that Jobs would be able to attend nearby Homestead High School, which had strong ties to Silicon Valley.
He underwent a change during mid-1970: "I got stoned for the first time; I discovered Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and all that classic stuff. I read Moby Dick and went back as a junior taking creative writing classes." Jobs also later noted to his official biographer that "I started to listen to music a whole lot, and I started to read more outside of just science and technology—Shakespeare, Plato. I loved King Lear ... when I was a senior I had this phenomenal AP English class. The teacher was this guy who looked like Ernest Hemingway. He took a bunch of us snowshoeing in Yosemite." During his last two years at Homestead High, Jobs developed two different interests: electronics and literature.
By his senior year in late 1971, he was taking freshman English class at Stanford and working on a Homestead underground film project with Chrisann Brennan, girl friend of Steve Wozniak, friend of Steve Jobs.
Around that time, Steve Wozniak designed a low-cost digital "blue box" to generate the necessary tones to manipulate the telephone network, allowing free long-distance calls. Jobs decided then to sell them and split the profit with Wozniak. Jobs later reflected that had it not been for Wozniak's blue boxes, "there wouldn't have been an Apple".
By his senior year of high school, Jobs began using LSD. He later recalled that on one occasion he consumed it in a wheat field outside Sunnyvale, and experienced "the most wonderful feeling of my life up to that point".
In September 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He insisted on applying only to Reed although it was an expensive school that Paul and Clara could ill afford.
After just one semester, Jobs dropped out of Reed College without telling his parents. Jobs later explained that he decided to drop out because he did not want to spend his parents' money on an education that seemed meaningless to him. He continued to attend by auditing his classes, which included a course on calligraphy that was taught by Robert Palladino. In a 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, Jobs stated 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. In that same speech, 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."
In February 1974, Jobs returned to his parents' home in Los Altos and began looking for a job. He was soon hired by Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California, which gave him a job as a technician.
By early 1974, Jobs was living what Chrisann Brennan describes as a "simple life" in a Los Gatos cabin, working at Atari, and saving money for his impending trip to India.
Jobs traveled to India in mid-1974 to visit Neem Karoli Baba at his Kainchi ashram in search of spiritual enlightenment. When they got to the Neem Karoli ashram, it was almost deserted because Neem Karoli Baba had died in September 1973. Then they made a long trek up a dry riverbed to an ashram of Haidakhan Babaji.
After seven months, Jobs left India and returned to the US. Jobs had changed his appearance; his head was shaved and he wore traditional Indian clothing. During this time, 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 that was owned by Robert Friedland.
During this time period, Jobs and Brennan both became practitioners of Zen Buddhism through the Zen master Kōbun Chino Otogawa. Jobs was living in his parents' backyard toolshed, which he had converted into a bedroom. Jobs engaged in lengthy meditation retreats at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the oldest Sōtō Zen monastery in the US. He considered taking up monastic residence at Eihei-ji in Japan, and maintained a lifelong appreciation for Zen.
In mid-1975, after returning to Atari, Jobs was assigned to create a circuit board for the arcade video game Breakout. According to Bushnell, Atari offered US$100 for each TTL chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little specialized knowledge of circuit board design and made a deal with Steve Wozniak to split the fee evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. According to Wozniak, Jobs told him that Atari gave them only $700 (instead of the $5,000 paid out), and that Wozniak's share was thus $350. Wozniak did not learn about the actual bonus until ten years later, but said that if Jobs had told him about it and explained that he needed the money, Wozniak would have given it to him.
Jobs and Wozniak attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club in 1975, which was a stepping stone to the development and marketing of the first Apple computer.
By March 1976, Wozniak completed the basic design of the Apple I computer and showed it to Jobs. In April of that same year, Jobs, Wozniak, and administrative overseer Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer Company (now called Apple Inc.) as a business partnership in Jobs's parents' Crist Drive home on April 1, 1976. The operation originally started in Jobs's bedroom and later moved to the garage. Wayne stayed only a short time, leaving Jobs and Wozniak as the active primary cofounders of the company. The two decided on the name "Apple" after Jobs returned from the All One Farm commune in Oregon and told Wozniak about his time spent in the farm's apple orchard. Later that year, computer retailer Paul Terrell purchased 50 fully assembled units of the Apple I from them for $500 each. Eventually about 200 Apple I computers were produced in total.
Arthur Rock, which after looking at the crowded Apple booth at the Home Brew Computer Show, started with a $60,000 investment and went on the Apple board.
In April 1977, Jobs and Wozniak introduced the Apple II at the West Coast Computer Faire. It is the first consumer product to have been sold by Apple Computer. Primarily designed by Wozniak. The Apple II became one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products in the world.
As Jobs became more successful with his new company, his relationship with Brennan grew more complex and deteriorating. A few days after Brennan realized she was pregnant with Jobs's child, she told Jobs whose face, according to her "turned ugly" at the news. A few weeks before she was due to give birth, Brennan was invited to deliver her baby at the All One Farm. When Jobs was 23 (the same age as his biological parents when they had him) Brennan gave birth to her baby, Lisa Brennan, on May 17, 1978. Jobs went there for the birth after he was contacted by Robert Friedland, their mutual friend and the farm owner. While distant, Jobs worked with her on a name for the baby, which they discussed while sitting in the fields on a blanket. Brennan suggested the name "Lisa" which Jobs also liked. She also stated that she never gave him permission to use the baby's name for a computer and he hid the plans from her. Jobs also worked with his team to come up with the phrase, "Local Integrated Software Architecture" as an alternative explanation for the Apple Lisa. Decades later, however, Jobs admitted to his biographer Walter Isaacson that "obviously, it was named for my daughter".
When Jobs denied paternity, a DNA test established him as Lisa's father. It required him to give Brennan $385 a month in addition to returning the welfare money she had received. Jobs gave her $500 a month at the time when Apple went public and Jobs became a millionaire.
Jobs was worth over $1 million in 1978, when he was just 23 years old. His net worth grew to over $250 million by the time he was 25, according to estimates. He was also one of the youngest "people ever to make the Forbes list of the nation's richest people—and one of only a handful to have done it themselves, without inherited wealth".
Jobs began directing the development of the Macintosh in 1981.
In 1982, Jobs bought an apartment on the top two floors of The San Remo, a Manhattan building with a politically progressive reputation. Although he never lived there, he spent years renovating it with the help of I. M. Pei. In 2003, he sold it to U2 singer Bono.
In 1983, Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple's CEO, asking, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?"
On January 24, 1984, an emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience at Apple's annual shareholders meeting held in the Flint Auditorium. The Macintosh was based on The Lisa.
That same year, Jobs bought the Jackling House and estate, and resided there for a decade. After that, he leased it out for several years until 2000 when he stopped maintaining the house, allowing exposure to the weather to degrade it. In 2004, Jobs received permission from the town of Woodside to demolish the house in order to build a smaller contemporary styled one. After a few years in court, the house was finally demolished in 2011, a few months before he died.
John Sculley's and Jobs's respective visions for the company greatly differed. The former favored open architecture computers like the Apple II, sold to education, small business, and home markets less vulnerable to IBM. Jobs wanted the company to focus on the closed architecture Macintosh as a business alternative to the IBM PC.
By early 1985, the Macintosh's failure to defeat the IBM PC became clear, and it strengthened Sculley's position in the company. In May 1985, Sculley—encouraged by Arthur Rock—decided to reorganize Apple, and proposed a plan to the board that would remove Jobs from the Macintosh group and put him in charge of "New Product Development". On September 17, 1985, Jobs submitted a letter of resignation to the Apple Board. Five additional senior Apple employees also resigned and joined Jobs in his new venture, NeXT.
Following his resignation from Apple in 1985, Jobs founded NeXT Inc. with $7 million. A year later he was running out of money, and he sought venture capital with no product on the horizon. Eventually, Jobs attracted the attention of billionaire Ross Perot, who invested heavily in the company.
In 1986, Jobs funded the spinout of The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for the price of $10 million, $5 million of which was given to the company as capital and $5 million of which was paid to Lucasfilm for technology rights.
In 1989, Jobs first met his future wife, Laurene Powell, when he gave a lecture at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was a student. Soon after the event, he stated that Laurene "was right there in the front row in the lecture hall, and I couldn't take my eyes off of her ... kept losing my train of thought, and started feeling a little giddy." After the lecture, Jobs met up with her in the parking lot and invited her out to dinner. From that point forward, they were together, with a few minor exceptions, for the rest of his life.
Jobs proposed on New Year's Day 1990 and the couple married on March 18, 1991, in a Buddhist ceremony at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. Fifty people, including Jobs's father, Paul, and his sister Mona, attended. The ceremony was conducted by Jobs's guru, Kobun Chino Otogawa. The vegan wedding cake was in the shape of Yosemite's Half Dome.
NeXT workstations were first released in 1990 and priced at US$9,999. Like the Apple Lisa, the NeXT workstation was technologically advanced and designed for the education sector, but was largely dismissed as cost-prohibitive for educational institutions. Making use of a NeXT computer, English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1990 at CERN in Switzerland.
Jobs ran NeXT with an obsession for aesthetic perfection, as evidenced by the development of and attention to NeXTcube's magnesium case.
Steve Job and Laurene Job's first child, Reed, was born in September 1991, and the couple had two more children, Erin, born in August 1995, and Eve, born in May 1998.
In 1995, Pixar produced its first film with its Disney partnership, Toy Story (1995), which brought financial success and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released. Over the course of Jobs's life, under Pixar's creative chief John Lasseter, the company produced many more box-office hits such as A Bug's Life (1998); Toy Story 2 (1999); Monsters, Inc. (2001); Toy Story 3 (2010) which received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001.
In January 2004, Jobs and Disney ended their partnership and he announced that he would never deal with Disney again.
On January 24, 2006, Steve Jobs and Disney's new CEO Bob Iger announced that Disney had agreed to purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. Upon completion of the merger, Jobs received 7% of Disney shares becoming The Walt Disney Company's largest single shareholder and joined the board of directors as the largest individual shareholder. Upon Jobs's death his shares in Disney were transferred to the Steven P. Jobs Trust led by Laurene Jobs.
In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $427 million. The deal was finalized in February 1997, bringing Jobs back to the company he had cofounded. He was formally named interim chief executive on September 16.
With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company's technology found its way into Apple products, most notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs's guidance, the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products; since then, appealing designs and powerful branding have worked well for Apple. At the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the "interim" modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO.
The company subsequently branched out, introducing and improving upon other digital appliances. With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution. On June 29, 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, which also included the features of an iPod and, with its own mobile browser, revolutionized the mobile browsing scene.
Jobs usually went to work wearing a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck made by Issey Miyake, Levi's 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers. He said his choice was inspired by that of Stuart Geman, a noted applied mathematics professor at Brown University. Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson "...he came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style."
The success of Apple's unique products and services provided several years of stable financial returns, propelling Apple to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company in 2011.
Jobs was perceived as a demanding perfectionist who always aspired to position his businesses and their products at the forefront of the information technology industry by foreseeing and setting innovation and style trends.
In October 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. In mid 2004, he announced to his employees that he had a cancerous tumor in his pancreas, a rare, much less aggressive type, known as islet cell neuroendocrine tumor.
Despite his diagnosis, Jobs resisted his doctors' recommendations for medical intervention for nine months, instead relying on alternative medicine to thwart the disease.
He eventually underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy in July 2004, that appeared to remove the tumor successfully. Jobs did not receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
As of January 2006, only Jobs's wife, his doctors, and Iger and his wife knew that his cancer had returned.
In 2009, Tim Cook, who previously acted as CEO in Jobs's 2004 absence, became acting CEO of Apple. Tim Cook offered a portion of his liver to Jobs, since both share a rare blood type and the donor liver can regenerate tissue after such an operation. Jobs yelled, "I'll never let you do that. I'll never do that."
In April 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee, with "excellent" prognosis.
On August 24, 2011, Jobs announced his resignation as Apple's CEO. Jobs became chairman of the board and named Tim Cook as his successor as CEO. Jobs continued to work for Apple until the day before his death six weeks later.
Jobs died at his Palo Alto, California home around 3 p.m. (PDT) on October 5, 2011, due to complications from a relapse of his previously treated islet-cell pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, which resulted in respiratory arrest. He had lost consciousness the day before and died with his wife, children, and sisters at his side. Steve's final words were: 'Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.'" He then lost consciousness and died several hours later. A small private funeral was held on October 7, 2011, the details of which, out of respect for Jobs's family, were not made public.
Apple and Microsoft both flew their flags at half-staff throughout their respective headquarters and campuses.
Bob Iger ordered all Disney properties, including Walt Disney World and Disneyland, to fly their flags at half-staff from October 6 to 12, 2011. For two weeks following his death, Apple displayed on its corporate Web site a simple page that showed Jobs's name and lifespan next to his grayscale portrait.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared Sunday, October 16, 2011, to be "Steve Jobs Day". On that day, an invitation-only memorial was held at Stanford University. Each attendee was given a small brown box as a "farewell gift" from Jobs. The box contained a copy of the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.
On October 19, 2011, Apple employees held a private memorial service for Jobs on the Apple campus in Cupertino.
Per his request, Jobs is buried in an unmarked grave at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, the only nonsectarian cemetery in Palo Alto.