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Steve Jobs Biography

by poonam bisht

STEVE JOBS: The Marketing Mogul Steve Jobs’ attention to intricate details, his blending of art and technology, his obsession with perfectionism and his pioneering ideas have given birth to what…

STEVE JOBS: The Marketing Mogul

Steve Jobs’ attention to intricate details, his blending of art and technology, his obsession with perfectionism and his pioneering ideas have given birth to what is a worldwide craze today – Apple. He was the one man who was responsible for the innovation of such devices and technologies that are now considered indispensable for the millions of users around the world. Though Steve Jobs lived a short life, yet he had built an irreplaceable place for himself in the world of technology, and is virtually here to stay through the hearts of all Apple users.

Rightly tagged as a “legendary” figure, a “visionary,” a “futurist,”, a “master of innovation,”“Father of Digital Revolution,” a “design perfectionist,” and “the master evangelist of the digital age,” Steve Jobs is credited today for bringing the biggest turnarounds in the history of technology. His charismatic persona, his inventive genius and his energetic minds had set him on a journey that will continue to grow despite his physical absence.

Early Life and Education

On February 24, 1955, a pair of unmarried graduate students, named Joanne Schieble and John Jandali gave birth to a baby boy and gave him up for adoption. The baby was none other than Steve Jobs, originally named Steven Paul Jobs (a name that was given to him by his adoptive parents Paul Reinhold Jobs and Clara Jobs).

Jobs’ biological parents had met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Abdulfattah ‘John’ Jandali, his biological father was a Syrian-born undergraduate student while Joanne Carole Schieble, his biological mother was of Swiss and German descent and a student of speech language pathology. The fundamentalist father of Joanne Carole Schieble did not allow her to get married to Jandali. The couple had no choice but to give the baby up for adoption.

Born in San Francisco, California, Steve Jobs was adopted by a married couple Paul Reinhold Jobs and Clara Jobs. After Clara suffered an ectopic pregnancy and learned that she could no longer conceive, they decided to adopt a kid. When asked about his parents, Jobs once said- “Paul and Clara are 100% my parents. And Joanna and Abdulfatah- are only a sperm and an egg bank. It’s not rude, it is the truth.”

When Jobs was of five years, the family moved to Mountain View, California where the parents later went on to adopt a girl, Patty. Paul used to spend his time working as a mechanic and a carpenter. He taught Jobs on how to work on electronics and the art of rebuilding electronical items like televisions and radios. This inculcated in Jobs the habit of fiddling with electronic gadgets, which went on to develop into a keen interest in electronics and gadgetry. His mom worked as an accountant and was a payroll clerk for Varian Associates.

Jobs grew up in a neighborhood inundated with engineers who used to engage themselves in various electronics works and other gizmos in their respective garages. This helped shape the future of Jobs who became intensely interested in the field. Interestingly, the area in which he grew was none other than what is today popularly known as the Silicon Valley. Jobs saw it bloom before his eyes as it was during his growing period that the area was rapidly becoming a center of electronics.

Jobs was sent to Monta Loma Elementary School in Mountain View where he was marked an incorrigible prankster. It was said that his fourth grade teacher had to bribe him to make him study. However, he was a brilliant student and tested so well that the administrators of the school proposed that he skip two grades.  Jobs parents, however, declined the suggestion and decided to make him skip one grade instead.

Jobs went on to attend Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. It was at Homestead High School, that Jobs got introduced to Steve Wozniak, through a common friend. He turned out to be the most influential and important person in Jobs life. Like Jobs, Wozniak was a prankster and an electronics buff and both instantly became soul friends. During that time, Wozniak was a student of the University of California, Berkeley. In the words of Wozniak, “We both loved electronics and the way we used to hook up digital chips… very few people, especially back then, had any idea what chips were, how they worked and what they could do. …..We both had pretty much sort of an independent attitude about things in the world.”

After completing his graduation in the year 1972, Jobs decided to enroll himself in Reed College in Portland, Oregon a pricey liberal arts college. Though the fees were sky-high for the couple to finance, they conceded owing to the promise they had made to Jobs’ biological parents. However, Jobs dropped out after a semester at Reed. The next 18 months were spent attending some “drop in” creative classes at the school that included a course on calligraphy. He used to audit classes at Reed, slept on the floor of his friend’s dorm rooms and had free meals at a local Hare Krishna temple. In one of his speeches Jobs recalled, “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.”

Steve Jobs Goes to India

In the year 1974, Jobs started working as a video game designer with Atari. After accumulating enough money, he decided to set out for India in his quest for spiritual enlightenment. A Reed College friend by the name of Daniel Kottke accompanied him to India. They intended to meet His Holiness Neem Karoli Baba but when they got to his ashram it was empty because unknown to the two, Neem Karoli Baba had already died in September 1973. They then trekked to the ashram of Haidakhan Babaji.

After about seven months, Jobs returned to the US. Post this sojourn, Jobs changed his appearance. He shaved off his head and started wearing Indian traditional clothing. His experiment with psychedelics was in his own words “one of the two or three most important things [he had] done in [his] life.” He became an ardent follower of Zen Buddhism.

Back to Atari and to Wozniak Upon returning to US, he resumed working with Atari. He was assigned the task of creating a circuit board for the video game Breakout. He also started taking a keen interest in the works of Wozniak. He along with Wozniak eventually went on to create the Blue Boxes together. The creation of the Blue Boxes paved the way for the foundation of Apple.

Apple Computer Company

The knowledge garnered from the computer pioneers at the Homebrew Computer Club coupled with his own exceptional talent helped Wozniak create a computer for his personal use. It was named Apple I Computer. When Wozniak introduced his invention to Jobs, he suggested to sell it. Joining hands with Ronald Wayne, they opened “Apple Computer Company” in the garage owned by Jobs’ parentsin 1976. Wayne, however, stayed for a short period. Jobs and Wozniak became the sole cofounders of the company.

The duo gradually went on to revolutionize the computer industry. Wozniak went on to develop a series of user-friendly computers. Jobs on the other hand took care of the marketing. Initially, the computers were marketed for $666.66 each. After a gap of three years, the second Apple model, named Apple II surfaced soaring the company’s sale by 700 percent. By 1980, Apple Computer emerged as a publicly traded company. It had a market value of $1.2 billion at the end of the very first trading day. Jobs persuaded the then president of the Pepsi-Cola company, John Sculley to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Apple.

In the early 1980’s the Apple Lisa was created and after a year the Macintosh came into existence.

His Resignation from Apple

Jobs was snubbed as an unpredictable manager. He conducted late night and early morning meetings as per his wish. This coupled with disappointing designs of several new products and complete consumer dissatisfaction brought him at loggerheads with the Sculley, who was Apple’s CEO. According to Sculley, Jobs was causing many problems at Apple. At a Board meeting in 1985, the Board of Directors of Apple gave Sculley the right to remove Jobs. Jobs was removed from his managerial duties and after few months he himself resigned from Apple altogether.

He terms this incident as the best thing that could have happened to him in his life. In his own words: “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it”.

NeXT Inc, Pixar and Disney

The next phase of his life started with the launch of NeXT Inc. in 1985, the same year he resigned from Apple. He sought the help of some former employees to start the new hardware and software enterprise. The NeXT was unveiled at an event in San Francisco and it was directed especially at the educational market. The user-friendliness, remarkable sound system, excellent speed and outstanding graphic display brought the product to the notice of many. Though the initial reception of the product was good, the exorbitant price, the black and white screen and the inability to make it run with other computers and common software made the sale of the NeXT computer dwindle. Eventually Apple bought NeXT, Inc. in the year 1996 for $429 million.

Jobs next went on to buy an animation company The Graphics Group from George Lucas for about $10 million. It was later renamed Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar studio went on to become a big success and under its creative chief John Lasseter, the company went on to produce such popular animation films as Toy Story, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo etc. On January 24, 2006, it was announced that Pixar will merge with Walt Disney in what was termed an all-stock transactions that was worth $7.4 billion. This deal went on to make Jobs the largest shareholder of The Walt Disney Company.

Coming Back to Apple

The deal between NeXT and Apple in 1997, brought Jobs back to Apple, the very company that he had once co-founded. With the help of a new management team, he steered the company to a completely new direction. After entering into a partnership with Microsoft, Apple went on to launch several new products and altered its marketing strategies. He planned various moves to put Apple back on track. The Apple Store went on to become a huge success and it was declared the third-largest e-commerce site on the internet. Jobs formally became the interim chief executive in September of 1997.

Jobs put his heart and soul into his endeavors of transforming his ideas and imagination into innovative products for the consumers. He was once again able to attract the consumers through his ingenious products, never-before seen designs and successful branding techniques.


Jobs discovered that he had neuroendocrine tumor, which is an operable form of cancer in the pancreatic. In 2004, he successfully got the pancreatic tumor removed in a surgery. Jobs underwent a liver transplant at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee in April 2009.


Owing to his deteriorating health, Jobs resigned as the CEO of Apple in August 2011. He, however, continued to serve as the chairman of the board. He was on medical leave since January 2011. Post the announcement of his resignation, the share of Apple Inc. dropped to five percent while the share of Walt Disney Co. Dropped to 1.5 % in afterhours trading.

Personal Life

During his days at Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, Jobs met Chrisann Brennan with whom he shared an irregular relationship from 1972 until 1977. Their relationship, however, ended when Brennan gave birth to their child Lisa in 1978. Jobs initially refused to acknowledge that he was the father though much later he accepted Lisa as his own daughter.

Jobs’ biological parents had married after Schieble’s father suddenly expired. The couple had another child who happens to be Jobs’ full sister. The marriage of the couple, however, ended in 1962 and Schieble along with her daughter moved to Los Angeles. It was somewhere in the 1980s that Jobs could find his birth mother, Joanne Schieble Simpson. From her, he learned that he also had a biological sister Mona Simpson. The siblings met in 1985 and became fast friends.

For a brief period, Jobs dated singer Joan Baez in the early 1980s. He then married Laurene Powell on 18th March 1991. Together they had three children; a son born in 1991, followed by two daughters in 1995 and 1998, respectively. The family’s home was at Palo Alto, California.


Jobs died on October 5, 2011 owing to complications that surfaced due to the relapse of his pancreatic cancer. He suffered a respiratory arrest. He lost consciousness the previous day and died hours later.


Jobs received a number of honors and recognition for his contribution to the world of technology. He received the National Medal of Technology in 1985 and a Jefferson Award for Public Service in 1987. He was declared the most powerful person in business by Fortune in 2007 and in 2009 he was named the most admired entrepreneur among teenagers. He was honored with the title CEO of the Decade by Fortune Magazine.

In the 2010, Forbes listing of ‘The World’s Most Powerful People’ ranked him at No. 17. He was posthumously conferred the Grammy Trustees Award in February 2012. Fortune magazine enlisted his name under the “greatest entrepreneur of our time” in 2012.

A bronze statue was erected in his honor at the Graphisoft Company in Budapest on t December 21, 2011.

Full Name Steven Paul Jobs
Born 02/24/55
Place of Birth San Francisco, California, US
Died October 5, 2011(2011-10-05) (aged  56)
Palo Alto, California, US
Residence Palo Alto, California, US
Alma Mater   Reed College (dropped out)
Occupation Cofounder, Chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.
CEO of Pixar
Founder and CEO of NeXT Inc.
Spouse Laurene Powell
(m. 1991–2011; his death)
Chrisann Brennan (high school girlfriend and Lisa’s mother )
Children 4 including Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Schooling Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California.
Net Worth US $8.3 billion (July 2010)


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