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Steve Jobs

This article is about the person. For the 2011 biography, see Steve Jobs (book). For the 2012 documentary, see Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview. For the 2015 biographical film, see Steve Jobs (film).

Steve Jobs
Jobs smiling and holding an iPhone
Born Steven Paul Jobs
(1955-02-24)February 24, 1955
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died October 5, 2011(2011-10-05) (aged 56)
Palo Alto, California
Residence Palo Alto, California
Alma mater Reed College (dropped out)
Years active 1974–2011
Net worth US$8.3 billion (July 2010)
Board member of
Spouse(s) Laurene Powell
(m. 1991–2011; his death)
Partner(s) Chrisann Brennan (high school girlfriend and Lisa's mother)
Children 4; including Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Relatives Mona Simpson (sister)
Signature 120px

Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs (/ˈɒbz/; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)[3][4] was an American entrepreneur,[5] marketer,[6] and inventor,[7] who was the cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he was widely recognized as a charismatic and design-driven pioneer of the personal computer revolution[8][9] and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming "one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies."[10] Jobs also funded what would become Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar. Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC's mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Apple Lisa and a year later, the original Macintosh. He played a role in introducing the LaserWriter, the first laser printer to feature vector graphics that started desktop publishing to the market.[11]

After a power struggle with its board of directors in 1985, Jobs left[12] Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher-education and business markets. In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm, which was spun off as Pixar.[13] He was credited in Toy Story (1995) as an executive producer and characteristically forgiving principal investor of Pixar. In 1996, after Apple had failed to deliver its operating system, Copland, Gil Amelio turned to NeXT, and the NeXTSTEP platform became the foundation for Mac OS X.[14] Jobs returned to Apple as an advisor, and took control of the company as an interim CEO. Jobs brought Apple from near bankruptcy to profitability by 1998.[15][16][17]

As the new CEO of the company, Jobs oversaw the development of the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, and on the services side, the company's Apple Stores, the iTunes Store, and the App Store.[18] The success of these products and services provided several years of stable financial returns, and propelled Apple to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company in 2011.[19] The reinvigoration of the company is regarded by many commentators as one of the greatest turnarounds in business history.[20][21][22]

In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreas neuroendocrine tumor. Though it was initially treated, he reported a hormone imbalance, underwent a liver transplant in 2009, and appeared progressively thinner as his health declined.[23] On medical leave for most of 2011, Jobs resigned in August that year, and was elected Chairman of the Board. He died of respiratory arrest related to the tumor on October 5, 2011.

Jobs received a number of honors and public recognition for his influence in the technology and music industries. He has been referred to as "legendary", a "futurist" and a "visionary",[24][25][26][27] and has been described as a "Father of the Digital Revolution",[28] a "master of innovation",[29][30] "the master evangelist of the digital age",[31] and a "design perfectionist".[32][33]

Childhood and education

File:Apple Garage.jpg
Home of Paul and Clara Jobs, on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California. Steve Jobs formed Apple Computer in its garage with Steve Wozniak (and initially Ronald Wayne) in 1976.

Jobs adoptive parents, Paul Reinhold Jobs (1922–1993) and Clara Jobs (née Hagopian) (1924–1986), an Armenian American, married in March 1946, ten days after they met. After Clara had an ectopic pregnancy, she could no longer bear children. In 1955, nine years after their marriage, they decided to adopt a child.[34] Jobs's birth parents met at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where his Syrian-born biological father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali (Arabic: عبدالفتاح جندلي‎),[35][36][37][38][39] was an undergraduate and then graduate student, and where his biological mother, American Joanne Carole Schieble (of Swiss and German descent[40]), studied for a degree in speech language pathology. Jandali, who emigrated to the U.S. from Homs, Syria at the age of 19, was studying political science when he met and became involved with Schieble. She became pregnant, but her fundamentalist father vehemently refused to let her marry Jandali. Schieble went to California to have her baby.[41]

Jobs was born in San Francisco, California on February 24, 1955 and named "Steven Paul".[41] Schieble wanted Jobs to only be adopted by college graduates. When Schieble learned that Clara Jobs had not graduated from college and Paul Jobs had only attended high school, she initially refused the adoption. She later signed the final adoption papers only after Paul and Clara promised her that the child would attend college.[41] Jobs would later become upset when Paul and Clara were referred to as "adoptive parents," stating instead that they "were my 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.”[41]

When Jobs was two years old, they adopted his sister Patty.[41] A few years later, the family moved to Mountain View, California.[41] Paul worked as a mechanic and a carpenter, and taught his son rudimentary electronics and how to work with his hands.[42] Paul 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, he became interested in and developed a hobby of technical tinkering.[43]

Clara was an accountant[44] who taught him to read before he went to school.[42] Clara Jobs had been a payroll clerk for Varian Associates, one of the first high-tech firms in what became known as Silicon Valley.[45] Jobs's youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. At Monta Loma Elementary school in Mountain View, he frequently played pranks on others.[46] 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.[46][47]

Jobs attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California.[48] At Homestead, Jobs became friends with Bill Fernandez, a neighbor who shared the same interests in electronics. Jobs also met his first girlfriend, the painter Chrisann Brennan, at Homestead in 1972. He was a senior, she was a junior, and they continued to have an intermittent romantic relationship until 1977.[49] During his period at homestead, his two closest friends were Chrisann and Steve Wozniak, a computer and electronics whiz kid, who was nicknamed "Woz."[49] Bill Fernandez introduced Woz (who was his neighbor) to Jobs. In 1969 Wozniak started building a little computer board with Fernandez that they named "The Cream Soda Computer", which they showed to Jobs; he was really interested.[50] Wozniak has said that they called it the Cream Soda Computer because he and Fernandez drank cream soda all the time while they worked on it. He and Jobs went to the same high school, although they did not know each other from classes.[51]

Jobs graduated from Homestead in 1972. Before leaving for Reed College in the fall, Jobs and Brennan rented a house from their other roommate, Al.[41][49][52] During the summer, Brennan, Jobs, and Steve Wozniak found an advertisement posted on the De Anza College bulletin board for a job that required people to dress up as characters from Alice in Wonderland. Brennan portrayed Alice while Wozniak, Jobs, and Al portrayed the While Rabbit and the Mad Hatter.[41]

In the Fall, 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.[50] Brennan remained involved with Jobs while he was at Reed College.[41] She also met his Reed friend Daniel Kottke for the first time.[49] Brennan (who was now a senior at Homestead) did not have plans to attend college, and was supportive of Jobs when he told her he planned to drop out of Reed because he didn't want to spend his parent's money on it (neither her father nor Jobs' adoptive parents had gone to college). He continued to attend by auditing classes ( including a course on calligraphy[53]), but since he was no longer an official student, Brennan stopped visiting him. Jobs later asked her to come and live with him in a house he rented near to the Reed campus, but she refused. He had started seeing other women, and she was interested in someone she met in her art class. Brennan speculates that the house was Jobs' attempt to make their relationship monogamous again.[49] In a 2005 commencement speech for Stanford University, Jobs states 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.[54] 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."



"Remember, the sixties happened in the early seventies, and that's when I came of age; and to me, the spark of that was that there was something beyond what you see every day. It's the same thing that causes people to be poets instead of bankers. And I think that's a wonderful thing. I think that same spirit can be put in to products, and those products can be manufactured, and given to people, and they can sense that spirit."

In 1972, Steve Wozniak designed his own version of the classic video game Pong. After finishing it, Wozniak gave the board to Jobs, who then took the game down to Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California. Atari thought that Jobs had built it and gave him a job as a technician.[55][56] Atari's cofounder Nolan Bushnell later described him as "difficult but valuable," pointing out that "he was very often the smartest guy in the room, and he would let people know that."[57]

In the summer of 1973, Jobs moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area and was renting his own apartment. Brennan states by this point that their "relationship was complicated. I couldn’t break the connection and I couldn’t commit. Steve couldn’t either."[49] Jobs hitchhiked and worked around the West Coast and Brennan would occasionally join him. At the same time, Brennan notes, "little by little, Steve and I separated. But we were never able to fully let go. We never talked about breaking up or going our separate ways and we didn’t have that conversation where one person says it’s over."[49] They continued to grow apart, but Jobs would still seek her out, and visit her while she was working in a health food store or as a live-in babysitter. They remained involved with each other while continuing to see other people.[49]

By the Spring of 1974, Jobs was living what Brennan describes as a "simple life" in a Los Gatos cabin, working at Atari, and saving money for his impending trip to India. Brennan visited him twice at the cabin. She states in her memoir that her memories of this cabin consist of Jobs reading Be Here Now (and giving her a copy), listening to South Indian music, and using a Japanese meditation pillow. Brennan felt that he was more distant and negative towards her. He met with her right before he left for India and tried to give her a $100 that he had earned at Atari which she refused. Jobs traveled to India in mid-1974[58] to visit Neem Karoli Baba [59] at his Kainchi ashram with his Reed friend (and later Apple employee) Daniel Kottke, 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.[56] Then they made a long trek up a dry riverbed to an ashram of Haidakhan Babaji. In India, they spent a lot of time on bus rides from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.[56]

After staying for seven months, Jobs left India[60] and returned to the US ahead of Daniel Kottke.[56] Jobs had changed his appearance; his head was shaved and he wore traditional Indian clothing.[61][62] 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."[63][64] He spent a period at the All One Farm, a commune in Oregon and Brennan joined him there for a period.[49]

During this time period, both Jobs and Brennan became practitioners of Zen Buddhism through the Zen master Kobun. Jobs was living with his parents again, in their backyard toolshed which he had converted into a bedroom with a sleeping bag, mat, books, a candle, and a meditation pillow.[49] Jobs engaged in lengthy meditation retreats at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the oldest Sōtō Zen monastery in the US.[65] He considered taking up monastic residence at Eihei-ji in Japan, and maintained a lifelong appreciation for Zen.[66] Jobs would later say that people around him who did not share his countercultural roots could not fully relate to his thinking.[63]

Jobs then returned to Atari, and 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 Wozniak to split the fee evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari engineers, Wozniak reduced the TTL count to 46, a design so tight that it was impossible to reproduce on an assembly line.[67] 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.[68] 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.[69]

Wozniak had designed a low-cost digital "blue box" to generate the necessary tones to manipulate the telephone network, allowing free long-distance calls. Jobs decided that they could make money selling it. The clandestine sales of the illegal "blue boxes" went well, and perhaps planted the seed in Jobs's mind that electronics could be fun and profitable.[70] Jobs, in a 1994 interview, recalled that it took six months for him and Wozniak to figure out how to build the blue boxes.[71] Jobs said that if not for the blue boxes, there would have been no Apple. He states it showed them that they could take on large companies and beat them.[72][73]


"My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people."

—Steve Jobs[74]

Jobs began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Wozniak in 1975.[48] He greatly admired Edwin H. Land, the inventor of instant photography and founder of Polaroid Corporation, and would explicitly model his own career after that of Land's.[75][76]

In 1976, Wozniak invented the Apple I computer. After Wozniak showed it to Jobs, who suggested that they sell it, they and Ronald Wayne formed Apple Computer in the garage of Jobs's parents in order to sell it.[77] Wayne stayed only a short time, leaving Jobs and Wozniak as the active primary cofounders of the company.[78] They received funding from a then-semi-retired Intel product marketing manager and engineer Mike Markkula.[79] Scott McNealy, one of the cofounders of Sun Microsystems, said that Jobs broke a "glass age ceiling" in Silicon Valley because he'd created a very successful company at a young age.[73]

File:Apple Computer Logo rainbow.svg
Apple logo introduced May 17, 1976, created by Rob Janoff with the rainbow scheme used until August 26, 1999.

After she returned from her own journey to India, Brennan visited Jobs at his parent's home, where he was still living. It was during this period that Jobs and Brennan fell in love again, as Brennan noted changes in him that she attributes to Kobun (whom she was also still following). It was also at this time that Jobs displayed a prototype Apple computer for Brennan and his parents in their living room. Brennan notes a shift in this time period, where the two main influences on Jobs were Apple and Kobun. By the Spring of 1977, she and Jobs would spend time together at her home at Duveneck Ranch in Los Altos, which served as a hostel and environmental education center. Brennan also worked there as a teacher for inner city children who came to learn about the farm.[49]

In 1977, Jobs and Wozniak introduced the Apple II at the West Coast Computer Faire. It was the first consumer product sold by Apple Computer and was one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products,[80] It was designed primarily by Steve Wozniak (Jobs oversaw the development of the Apple II's unusual case[41] and Rod Holt developed the unique power supply[81]).

As Jobs and Apple became more successful, his relationship with Brennan grew more complex. In 1977, with the success of Apple now a part of their relationship, Brennan, Daniel Kottke, and Jobs moved into a house near to the Apple office in Cupertino.[49] Brennan eventually took a position at Apple in the Shipping Department.[49][82] Brennan's relationship with Jobs was deteriorating as his position with Apple grew and she began to consider ending the relationship through small changes. In October 1977, Brennan was approached by Rod Holt, who asked her to take "a paid apprenticeship designing blueprints for the Apples."[49] Both Holt and Jobs felt that it would be a good position for her, given her artistic abilities. Holt was particularly eager that she take the position and puzzled by her ambivalence towards it. Brennan's decision, however, was overshadowed by the fact that she realized she was pregnant and that Jobs was the father. It took her a few days to tell Jobs, whose face, according to Brennan "turned ugly" at the news. At the same time, according to Brennan, at the beginning of her third trimester, Jobs said to her: “I never wanted to ask that you get an abortion. I just didn’t want to do that.”[49] He also refused to discuss the pregnancy with her.[41] Brennan, herself, felt confused about what to do. She was estranged from her mother and afraid to discuss the matter with her father. She also did not feel comfortable with the idea of having an abortion. She chose instead to discuss the matter with Kobun, who encouraged her to have and keep the baby as he would lend his support. Meanwhile, Holt was waiting for her decision on the internship. Brennan states that Jobs continued to encourage her to take the internship, stating that she could "be pregnant and work at Apple, you can take the job. I don’t get what the problem is.”[49] Brennan however notes that she "felt so ashamed: the thought of my growing belly in the professional environment at Apple, with the child being his, while he was unpredictable, in turn being punishing and sentimentally ridiculous. I could not have endured it."[49]

Brennan thus turned down the internship and decided to leave Apple. She states that Jobs told her "If you give up this baby for adoption, you will be sorry" and “I am never going to help you.”[49] Now alone, Brennan was on welfare and cleaning houses to earn money. She would sometimes ask Jobs for money but he always refused. Brennan hid her pregnancy for as long as she could, living in a variety of homes, and continuing her work with Zen meditation. At the same time, according to Brennan, Jobs "started to seed people with the notion that I slept around and he was infertile, which meant that this could not be his child." A few weeks before she was due, Brennan was invited to have her baby at the All One Farm in Oregon and Brennan accepted the offer.[49] At the age of 24, Brennan gave birth to her baby, Lisa Brennan on May 17, 1978.[49][83]

File:Steve Jobs with Wendell Brown at the launch of Brown's Hippo-C software for Macintosh, January 1984.jpg
Steve Jobs with Wendell Brown at the launch of Brown's Hippo-C software for Macintosh, January 1984

Jobs initially did not come up for the birth. He eventually did so after he was contacted by Robert Friedland, their mutual friend and owner of the All in One Farm. While distant, Jobs worked with her on a name for the baby, which they discussed sitting in the fields on a blanket. Brennan suggested the name "Lisa" which Jobs also liked and notes that Jobs was very attached to the name "Lisa" while he "was also publicly denying paternity." She would discover later that during this time, Jobs was preparing to unveil a new kind of computer that he wanted to give a female name (his first choice was "Claire" after St. Clare). She also states 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[84] (decades later, however, Jobs admitted to his biographer Walter Isaacson that "obviously, it was named for my daughter"[85]). Brennan would come under intense criticism from Jobs who claimed that “she doesn’t want money, she just wants me.”[49] According to Brennan, Apple's Mike Scott wanted Jobs to give her money, while other Apple executives "advised him to ignore me or fight if I tried to go after a paternity settlement."[49]

When Jobs denied paternity a DNA test was given that established him as Lisa's father. It required him to give Brennan $385 a month in addition to returning the money she had received from welfare. Jobs gave her $500 a month at the time when Apple went public, and Jobs became a millionaire. Brennan worked as a waitress in Palo Alto. Later, Brennan agreed to give an interview with Michael Moritz for Time Magazine. It would be for its 1982 Time Person of the Year special (released on January 3, 1983). She also decided to be honest about what had happened between her and Jobs. The issue that resulted had a lifelong impact on Brennan. Rather than give Jobs the "Person of the Year" award, the issue was called "Machine of the Year: The Computer Moves In."[86] In the issue, Jobs questioned the reliability of the paternity test (which stated that the "probability of paternity for Jobs, Steven... is 94.1%").[87] Jobs responded by arguing that "28% of the male population of the United States could be the father."[49][87] Time also noted that "the baby girl and the machine on which Apple has placed so much hope for the future share the same name: Lisa."[87]

In 1978, Apple recruited Mike Scott from National Semiconductor to serve as CEO for what turned out to be several turbulent years. 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?"[88]

In early 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh, which was based on The Lisa (and Xerox PARC's mouse-driven graphical user interface).[89][90] The following year, Apple aired a Super Bowl television commercial titled "1984." At Apple's annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984, an emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience; Andy Hertzfeld described the scene as "pandemonium."[91]

While Jobs was a persuasive and charismatic director for Apple, some of his employees from that time described him as an erratic and temperamental manager. Disappointing sales caused a deterioration in Jobs's working relationship with Sculley, which devolved into a power struggle between the two. Jobs kept meetings running past midnight, sent out lengthy faxes, then called new meetings at 7:00 am.

In 1985, during an April 10 & 11 board meeting, Apple's board of directors gave Sculley the authority to remove Jobs from all roles, except chairman, to reassign him to an undetermined position. John delayed a reassignment. But when Sculley learned that Jobs—who believed Sculley to be "bad for Apple" and the wrong person to lead the company—had been attempting to organize a boardroom coup, called a board meeting to resolve the matter. On May 24, Apple's board of directors sided with Sculley once again and removed Jobs from his managerial duties as head of the Macintosh division. Bereft of duties and exiled from the rest of the company to an otherwise-empty building, Jobs stopped coming to work and later resigned as chairman.[92][93] After unsuccessfully applying to fly on the Space Shuttle as a civilian astronaut, and briefly considering starting a computer company in the Soviet Union,[94] he resigned from Apple five months later.


"I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us. Later, after I'd met my father, I tried to believe he'd changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people. Even as a feminist, my whole life I'd been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I'd thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother."

In a commencement speech given at Stanford University in 2005, Jobs stated that being fired from Apple in 1985 was the best thing that could have happened to him: "The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." And he added, "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."[96][54]


Chrisann Brennan notes that after Jobs was forced out of Apple, "he apologized many times over for his behavior" towards her and Lisa. She also states that Jobs "said that he never took responsibility when he should have, and that he was sorry."[49] By this time, Jobs had developed a strong relationship with Lisa and when she was nine, Jobs had her birth certificate changed and her name went from "Lisa Brennan" to "Lisa Brennan-Jobs."[49] In addition, Jobs and Brennan developed a working relationship to co-parent Lisa, a change Brennan credits to the influence of his newly found biological sister, Mona Simpson (who worked to repair the relationship between Lisa and Jobs).[49] Jobs found Mona after first finding his birth mother, Joanne Schieble Simpson, during the mid 1980s (he would maintain periodic contact with his birth mother throughout his lifetime).[97][98] He did not contact Simpson during Clara's (his adoptive mother) lifetime, however. Jobs would later tell his official biographer Walter Isaacson: "I never wanted [Paul and Clara] to feel like I didn’t consider them my parents, because they were totally my parents [...] I loved them so much that I never wanted them to know of my search, and I even had reporters keep it quiet when any of them found out." [41]

After Clara died in 1986 of lung cancer,[99] Jobs asked his father Paul for permission to contact Simpson and Paul agreed.[41] Mona and Jobs met for the first time in 1985[95] and became close friends, keeping their relationship a secret until 1986 (when Mona introduced him at a party for her first book).[44] It was during this time period that Jobs learned his family history. Six months after he was given up for adoption, Joanne's father died. With his passing, Joanne and Jobs's biological father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali, married in December 1955. Jandali swiftly finished his Ph.D. and got a teaching position at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. The couple moved there and in 1957 had Mona. After the Jandali marriage ended in 1962 and Jandali disappeared from their lives, Schieble moved with her daughter to Los Angeles. She later worked in New York and married again, later returning to California.[47][100]

After Jobs and Mona decided to search for their father, Simpson found Jandali managing a coffee shop. Without knowing who his son had become, Jandali told Mona that he had previously managed a popular restaurant in Silicon Valley, mentioning that "even Steve Jobs used to eat there. Yeah, he was a great tipper." In a taped interview with his biographer Walter Isaacson, aired on 60 Minutes,[101] Jobs said: "When I was looking for my biological mother, obviously, you know, I was looking for my biological father at the same time, and I learned a little bit about him and I didn't like what I learned. I asked her to not tell him that we ever met...not tell him anything about me."[102]

At the age of 36, Jobs married Stanford Graduate School of Business graduate Laurene Powell (then 27) on March 18, 1991, in a Buddhist ceremony at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. Fifty people attended including his father Paul and his sister Mona. The ceremony was conducted by Jobs' guru, Kobun Chino Otogawa. The vegan wedding cake was in the shape of Yosemite's Half Dome and the wedding ended with a hike (where Laurene's brothers had a snowball fight). Jobs is reported to have said to Mona: "You see, Mona [...] Laurene is descended from Joe Namath and we’re descended from John Muir.”[41] Their son, Reed, was born September 1991 and[103] his father Paul died on Mar. 5, 1993.[104] Jobs and Laurene had two more children, Erin born in August 1995 and Eve born in 1998.[103] The family lived in Palo Alto, California.[105]

NeXT Computer

See also: NeXT

Jobs founded NeXT Inc. in 1985 after his resignation from Apple[106] with $7 million. A year later he was running out of money, and with no product on the horizon, he sought venture capital. Eventually, Jobs attracted the attention of billionaire Ross Perot who invested heavily in the company.[103] The NeXT computer was shown to the world at what was considered Jobs's come back event,[107] a lavish (invitation only) gala launch event [108] and was described as a multimedia extravaganza.[109] It was held at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, California on Wednesday October 12, 1988.

NeXT workstations were first released in 1990, priced at US$9,999. Like the Apple Lisa, the NeXT workstation was technologically advanced, but was largely dismissed as cost-prohibitive by the educational sector for which it was designed.[110] The NeXT workstation was known for its technical strengths, chief among them its object-oriented software development system. Jobs marketed NeXT products to the financial, scientific, and academic community, highlighting its innovative, experimental new technologies, such as the Mach kernel, the digital signal processor chip, and the built-in Ethernet port. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web on a NeXT computer at CERN.[111]

The revised, second generation NeXTcube was released in 1990, also. Jobs touted it as the first "interpersonal" computer that would replace the personal computer. With its innovative NeXTMail multimedia email system, NeXTcube could share voice, image, graphics, and video in email for the first time. "Interpersonal computing is going to revolutionize human communications and groupwork", Jobs told reporters.[112] Jobs ran NeXT with an obsession for aesthetic perfection, as evidenced by the development of and attention to NeXTcube's magnesium case.[113]This put considerable strain on NeXT's hardware division, and in 1993, after having sold only 50,000 machines, NeXT transitioned fully to software development with the release of NeXTSTEP/Intel.[114] The company reported its first profit of $1.03 million in 1994.[103] In 1996, NeXT Software, Inc. released WebObjects, a framework for Web application development. After NeXT was acquired by Apple Inc. in 1997, WebObjects was used to build and run the Apple Store,[114] MobileMe services, and the iTunes Store.

Pixar and Disney

In 1986, Jobs bought 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.[115]

The first film produced by the partnership, Toy Story (1995), with Jobs credited as executive producer,[116] brought fame and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released. Over the next 15 years, under Pixar's creative chief John Lasseter, the company produced box-office hits A Bug's Life (1998); Toy Story 2 (1999); Monsters, Inc. (2001); Finding Nemo (2003); The Incredibles (2004); Cars (2006); Ratatouille (2007); WALL-E (2008); Up (2009); and Toy Story 3 (2010). Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3 each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001.[117]

In 2003 and 2004, as Pixar's contract with Disney was running out, Jobs and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner tried but failed to negotiate a new partnership,[118] and in early 2004, Jobs announced that Pixar would seek a new partner to distribute its films after its contract with Disney expired.

In October 2005, Bob Iger replaced Eisner at Disney, and Iger quickly worked to mend relations with Jobs and Pixar. On January 24, 2006, Jobs and Iger announced that Disney had agreed to purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. When the deal closed, Jobs became The Walt Disney Company's largest single shareholder with approximately seven percent of the company's stock.[119] Jobs's holdings in Disney far exceeded those of Eisner, who holds 1.7 percent, and of Disney family member Roy E. Disney, who until his 2009 death held about one percent of the company's stock and whose criticisms of Eisner – especially that he soured Disney's relationship with Pixar – accelerated Eisner's ousting. Upon completion of the merger, Jobs received 7% of Disney shares, and joined the Board of Directors as the largest individual shareholder.[119][120][121] Upon Jobs's death his shares in Disney were transferred to the Steven P. Jobs Trust led by Laurene Jobs.[122]


Return to Apple

File:Apple logo Think Different vectorized.svg
Logo for the Think Different campaign designed by TBWA\Chiat\Day and initiated by Jobs after his return to Apple Computer in 1997.

In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $427 million. The deal was finalized in February 1997,[123] bringing Jobs back to the company he had cofounded. Jobs became de facto chief after then-CEO Gil Amelio was ousted in July 1997. He was formally named interim chief executive in September.[124] In March 1998, to concentrate Apple's efforts on returning to profitability, Jobs terminated a number of projects, such as Newton, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc. In the coming months, many employees developed a fear of encountering Jobs while riding in the elevator, "afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened. The reality was that Jobs's summary executions were rare, but a handful of victims was enough to terrorize a whole company."[125] Jobs changed the licensing program for Macintosh clones, making it too costly for the manufacturers to continue making machines.

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.[126] Jobs quipped at the time that he would be using the title "iCEO."[127]

File:Stevejobs Macworld2005.jpg
Jobs on stage at Macworld Conference & Expo, San Francisco, January 11, 2005

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. While nurturing innovation, Jobs also reminded his employees that "real artists ship."[128]

Jobs was both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the "reality distortion field" and was particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as "Stevenotes") at Macworld Expos and at Apple Worldwide Developers Conferences.[129]

In 2005, Jobs responded to criticism of Apple's poor recycling programs for e-waste in the US by lashing out at environmental and other advocates at Apple's Annual Meeting in Cupertino in April. A few weeks later, Apple announced it would take back iPods for free at its retail stores. The Computer TakeBack Campaign responded by flying a banner from a plane over the Stanford University graduation at which Jobs was the commencement speaker. The banner read "Steve, don't be a mini-player—recycle all e-waste."

In 2006, he further expanded Apple's recycling programs to any US customer who buys a new Mac. This program includes shipping and "environmentally friendly disposal" of their old systems.[130]

Health issues

In October 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer.[131] In mid-2004, he announced to his employees that he had a cancerous tumor in his pancreas.[132] The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is usually very poor;[133] Jobs stated that he had a rare, much less aggressive type, known as islet cell neuroendocrine tumor.[132]

Despite his diagnosis, Jobs resisted his doctors' recommendations for medical intervention for nine months,[97] instead relying on a pseudo-medicine diet to try natural healing to thwart the disease. According to Harvard researcher Ramzi Amri, his choice of alternative treatment "led to an unnecessarily early death."[131] Cancer researcher and alternative medicine critic David Gorski disagreed with Amri's assessment, saying, "My best guess was that Jobs probably only modestly decreased his chances of survival, if that."[134] Barrie R. Cassileth, the chief of Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center's integrative medicine department,[135] said, "Jobs’s faith in alternative medicine likely cost him his life.... He had the only kind of pancreatic cancer that is treatable and curable.... He essentially committed suicide."[136] 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."[137] "Instead, he tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and other treatments he found online, and even consulted a psychic. He was also influenced by a doctor who ran a clinic that advised juice fasts, bowel cleansings and other unproven approaches, before finally having surgery in July 2004."[138] He eventually underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy (or "Whipple procedure") in July 2004, that appeared to remove the tumor successfully.[139][140] Jobs did not receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy.[132] [141] During Jobs' absence, Tim Cook, head of worldwide sales and operations at Apple, ran the company.[132]

In early August 2006, Jobs delivered the keynote for Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. His "thin, almost gaunt" appearance and unusually "listless" delivery,[142][143] together with his choice to delegate significant portions of his keynote to other presenters, inspired a flurry of media and Internet speculation about the state of his health.[144] In contrast, according to an Ars Technica journal report, Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) attendees who saw Jobs in person said he "looked fine."[145] Following the keynote, an Apple spokesperson said that "Steve's health is robust."[146]

Two years later, similar concerns followed Jobs' 2008 WWDC keynote address.[147] Apple officials stated that Jobs was victim to a "common bug" and was taking antibiotics, [148] while others surmised his cachectic appearance was due to the Whipple procedure.[141] During a July conference call discussing Apple earnings, participants responded to repeated questions about Jobs' health by insisting that it was a "private matter." Others said that shareholders had a right to know more, given Jobs's hands-on approach to running his company.[149][150] Based on an off-the-record phone conversation with Jobs, the The New York Times reported, "While his health problems amounted to a good deal more than 'a common bug', they weren't life-threatening and he doesn't have a recurrence of cancer."[151]

On August 28, 2008, Bloomberg mistakenly published a 2500-word obituary of Jobs in its corporate news service, containing blank spaces for his age and cause of death. (News carriers customarily stockpile up-to-date obituaries to facilitate news delivery in the event of a well-known figure's death.) Although the error was promptly rectified, many news carriers and blogs reported on it,[152] intensifying rumors concerning Jobs's health.[153] Jobs responded at Apple's September 2008 Let's Rock keynote by essentially quoting Mark Twain: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."[154][155] At a subsequent media event, Jobs concluded his presentation with a slide reading "110/70", referring to his blood pressure, stating he would not address further questions about his health.[156]

On December 16, 2008, Apple announced that marketing vice-president Phil Schiller would deliver the company's final keynote address at the Macworld Conference and Expo 2009, again reviving questions about Jobs' health.[157][158] In a statement given on January 5, 2009, on, Jobs said that he had been suffering from a "hormone imbalance" for several months. [159][160]

On January 14, 2009, in an internal Apple memo, Jobs wrote that in the previous week he had "learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought."[161] He announced a six-month leave of absence until the end of June 2009, to allow him to better focus on his health. Tim Cook, who previously acted as CEO in Jobs' 2004 absence, became acting CEO of Apple, with Jobs still involved with "major strategic decisions."[161]

In 2009, Tim Cook offered a portion of his liver to Jobs, since both share a rare blood type. (The donor liver can regenerate tissue after such an operation.) Jobs yelled, "I'll never let you do that. I'll never do that."[162]

In April 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee.[163][164] Jobs's prognosis was described as "excellent."[163]

In an interview with The Sun, his biological father Abdulfattah "John" Jandali said he had tried to contact Jobs but was unsuccessful. Jandali mailed his medical history to the family after Jobs' pancreatic disorder was made public that year.[39][165][166]


On January 17, 2011, a year and a half after Jobs returned to work after the liver transplant, Apple announced that he had been granted a medical leave of absence. Jobs announced his leave in a letter to employees, stating his decision was made "so he could focus on his health." As during his 2009 medical leave, Apple announced that Tim Cook would run day-to-day operations and that Jobs would continue to be involved in major strategic decisions at the company.[167][168] Despite the leave, Jobs appeared at the iPad 2 launch event (March 2), the WWDC keynote introducing iCloud (June 6), and before the Cupertino City Council (June 7).[169]

On August 24, 2011, Jobs announced his resignation as Apple's CEO, writing to the board, "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come." [170] Jobs became chairman of the board and named Tim Cook as his successor as CEO.[171][172] Jobs continued to work for Apple until the day before his death six weeks later.[173][174][175]


File:Apple flags half-mast.jpg
Flags flying at half-staff outside Apple HQ in Cupertino, on the evening of Steve Jobs's death.
File:Outside Palo Alto apple store following Steve Job's death.jpg
Memorial candles and iPads to Steve Jobs outside the Apple Store in Palo Alto, California shortly after his death

Jobs died at his Palo Alto, California, home around 3 p.m. on October 5, 2011, due to complications from a relapse of his previously treated islet-cell neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer,[48][176][177] resulting in respiratory arrest.[178] He had lost consciousness the day before, and died with his wife, children, and sisters at his side.[95]

Both Apple and Microsoft flew their flags at half-staff throughout their respective headquarters and campuses.[179][180] 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.[181] His death was announced by Apple[182] and by Pixar.[183]

For two weeks following his death, Apple's corporate Web site displayed a simple page, showing Jobs's name and lifespan next to his grayscale portrait.[184][185][186]

A small private funeral was held on October 7, 2011, of which details were not revealed out of respect to Jobs's family.[187] Apple announced on the same day that they had no plans for a public service, but were encouraging "well-wishers" to send their remembrance messages to an email address created to receive such messages.[188] Sunday, October 16, 2011, was declared "Steve Jobs Day" by Governor Jerry Brown of California.[189] On that day, an invitation-only memorial was held at Stanford University. Those in attendance included Apple and other tech company executives, members of the media, celebrities, close friends of Jobs, and politicians, along with Jobs's family. Bono, Yo Yo Ma, and Joan Baez performed at the service, which lasted longer than an hour. The service was highly secured, with guards at all of the university's gates, and a helicopter flying overhead from an area news station.[190][191]

A private memorial service for Apple employees was held on October 19, 2011, on the Apple Campus in Cupertino. Present were Cook, Bill Campbell, Norah Jones, Al Gore, and Coldplay, and Jobs's widow, Laurene.[192] At the time of his death, his biological mother, Joanne Schieble Simpson, was living in a nursing home and suffering from dementia. She was not told that he died.[193] Some of Apple's retail stores closed briefly so employees could attend the memorial. A video of the service is available on Apple's website.[192]

Jobs is buried in an unmarked grave at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, the only non-denominational cemetery in Palo Alto.[194][195] He is survived by Laurene, his wife of 20 years, their three children, and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter from a previous relationship.[196] His family released a statement saying that he "died peacefully."[197][198] His sister, Mona Simpson, described his death thus: "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." He then lost consciousness and died several hours later.[95]

Media coverage

Steve Jobs's death broke news headlines on ABC, CBS, and NBC. Numerous newspapers around the world carried news of his death on their front pages the next day. Several notable people, including US President Barack Obama,[199]British Prime Minister David Cameron,[200] Microsoft founder Bill Gates, [201] and The Walt Disney Company's Bob Iger commented on the death of Jobs. Wired News collected reactions and posted them in tribute on their homepage.[202]Other statements of condolence were made by many of Jobs's friends and colleagues, such as Steve Wozniak and George Lucas.[203][204] After Steve Jobs's death, Adult Swim aired a 15-second segment with the words "hello" in a script font fading in and then changing into "goodbye."

Major media published commemorative works. Time published a commemorative issue for Jobs on October 8, 2011. The issue's cover featured a portrait of Jobs, taken by Norman Seeff, in which he is sitting in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh computer, first published in Rolling Stone in January 1984. The issue marked the eighth time Jobs was featured on the cover of Time,[205] and included a photographic essay by Diana Walker, a retrospective on Apple by Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, and a six-page essay by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson's essay served as a preview of his biography, Steve Jobs.[206]

Bloomberg Businessweek also published a commemorative, ad-free issue, featuring extensive essays by Steve Jurvetson, John Sculley, Sean Wisely, William Gibson, and Walter Isaacson. On its cover, Steve Jobs is pictured in grayscale, along with his name and lifespan.

At the time of his resignation, and again after his death, Jobs was widely described as a visionary, pioneer, and genius[207][208][209][210]—perhaps one of the foremost—in the field of business,[211][212] innovation,[213] and product design,[214] and a man who had profoundly changed the face of the modern world,[207][209][213] revolutionized at least six different industries,[208] and who was an "exemplar for all chief executives."[208] His death was widely mourned[213] and considered a loss to the world by commentators across the globe.[210]

After his resignation as Apple's CEO, Jobs was characterized as the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of his time.[215][216] In his The Daily Show eulogy, Jon Stewart said that unlike others of Jobs's ilk, such as Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, Jobs died young. He felt that we had, in a sense, "wrung everything out of" these other men, but his feeling on Jobs was that "we're not done with you yet."[217] Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker asserted that "Jobs's sensibility was editorial, not inventive. His gift lay in taking what was in front of him ... and ruthlessly refining it."[218]

There was also a dissenting tone in some coverage of Jobs's life and works in the media, where attention focused on his near-fanatical control mindset and business ruthlessness. A Los Angeles Times media critic reported that the eulogies "came courtesy of reporters who—after deadline and off the record—would tell stories about a company obsessed with secrecy to the point of paranoia. They remind us how Apple shut down a youthful fanboy blogger, punished a publisher that dared to print an unauthorized Jobs biography and repeatedly ran afoul of the most basic tenets of a free press."[219] Free software pioneer Richard Stallman drew attention to Apple's strategy of tight corporate control over consumer computers and handheld devices, how Apple restricted news reporters, and persistently violated privacy: "Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died."[220][221] On his blog, Stallman has summarized Jobs as having a "malign influence" on computing because of his leadership in guiding Apple to produce closed platforms.[222][223] Silicon Valley reporter Dan Gillmor stated that under Jobs, Apple had taken stances that in his view were "outright hostile to the practice of journalism"[219] – these included suing three "small fry" bloggers who reported tips about the company and its unreleased products including attempts to use the courts to force them to reveal their sources, suing teenager Nicholas Ciarelli, who wrote enthusiastic speculation about Apple products beginning at age 13[219] (Rainey wrote that Apple wanted to kill his 'ThinkSecret' blog as "It thought any leaks, even favorable ones, diluted the punch of its highly choreographed product launches with Jobs, in his iconic jeans and mock turtleneck outfit, as the star."[219])

Some have compared Steve Jobs and Dennis Ritchie who died a week later, and the respective media coverage of their deaths.[224][225]

Portrayals and coverage in books, film, and theater

Steve jobs is the subject of a number of books and films.

Innovations and designs

Jobs's design aesthetic was influenced by the modernist architectural style of Joseph Eichler, by the industrial designs of Braun's Dieter Rams,[47] and by Buddhism. In India, he experienced Buddhism while on his seven-month spiritual journey,[226] and his sense of intuition was influenced by the spiritual people with whom he studied.[226]

According to Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak "Steve didn't ever code. He wasn't an engineer and he didn't do any original design..."[227][228] Daniel Kottke, one of Apple's earliest employees and a college friend of Jobs's, stated that "Between Woz and Jobs, Woz was the innovator, the inventor. Steve Jobs was the marketing person."[229]

He is listed as either primary inventor or co-inventor in 346 United States patents or patent applications related to a range of technologies from actual computer and portable devices to user interfaces (including touch-based), speakers, keyboards, power adapters, staircases, clasps, sleeves, lanyards and packages. Jobs's contributions to most of his patents were to "the look and feel of the product." His industrial design chief Jonathan Ive had his name along with him for 200 of the patents.[230] Most of these are design patents (specific product designs; for example, Jobs listed as primary inventor in patents for both original and lamp-style iMacs, as well as PowerBook G4 Titanium) as opposed to utility patents (inventions).[7][231] He has 43 issued US patents on inventions.[7] The patent on the Mac OS X Dock user interface with "magnification" feature was issued the day before he died.[232] Although Jobs had little involvement in the engineering and technical side of the original Apple computers,[228] Jobs later used his CEO position to directly involve himself with product design.[233]

Even while terminally ill in the hospital, Jobs sketched new devices that would hold the iPad in a hospital bed.[234] He also despised the oxygen monitor on his finger and suggested ways to revise the design for simplicity.[235]

Since his death the former Apple CEO has won 141 patents, which was more than what most inventors win during their lifetimes. Currently, Jobs has over 450 patents.[236]

Apple II

Main article: Apple II

The Apple II is an 8-bit home computer, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products,[80] designed primarily by Steve Wozniak (Jobs oversaw the development of the Apple II's unusual case[41] and Rod Holt developed the unique power supply[81]). It was introduced in 1977 at the West Coast Computer Faire by Jobs and was the first consumer product sold by Apple Computer.

Apple Lisa

Main article: Apple Lisa

The Lisa is a personal computer designed by Apple Computer, Inc. during the early 1980s. It was the first personal computer to offer a graphical user interface in a machine aimed at individual business users. Development of the Lisa began in 1978.[237] The Lisa sold poorly, with only 100,000 units sold.[238]

In 1982, after Jobs was forced out of the Lisa project,[239] he joined the Macintosh project. The Macintosh is not a direct descendant of Lisa, although there are obvious similarities between the systems. The final revision, the Lisa 2/10, was modified and sold as the Macintosh XL.[240]

The Macintosh Computer

Main article: Macintosh

Jobs introduced the original Macintosh computer on January 24, 1984. This was the first mass-market personal computer featuring an integral graphical user interface and mouse.[241] This first model was later renamed to "Macintosh 128k" for uniqueness amongst a populous family of subsequently updated models which are also based on Apple's same proprietary architecture. Since 1998, Apple has largely phased out the Macintosh name in favor of "Mac", though the product family has been nicknamed "Mac" or "the Mac" since the development of the first model. The Macintosh was introduced by a US$1.5 million Ridley Scott television commercial, "1984".[242] It most notably aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984, and is now considered a "watershed event"[243] and a "masterpiece."[244] Regis McKenna called the ad "more successful than the Mac itself."[245] "1984" used an unnamed heroine to represent the coming of the Macintosh (indicated by a Picasso-style picture of the computer on her white tank top) as a means of saving humanity from the "conformity" of IBM's attempts to dominate the computer industry. The ad alludes to George Orwell's novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a dystopian future ruled by a televised "Big Brother."[246][247]

The Macintosh, however, was expensive, which hindered its ability to be competitive in a market already dominated by the Commodore 64 for consumers, as well as the IBM Personal Computer and its accompanying clone market for businesses.[248] Macintosh systems still found success in education and desktop publishing and kept Apple as the second-largest PC manufacturer for the next decade.

The NeXT Computer

Main article: NeXT Computer

After Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985, he started a company that built workstation computers. The NeXT Computer was introduced in 1988 at a lavish launch event. Tim Berners-Lee created the world's first web browser on the NeXT Computer. The NeXT Computer was the basis for today's Macintosh OS X and iPhone operating system (iOS).[249][250]


Main article: iMac

Apple iMac was introduced in 1998 and its innovative design was directly the result of Jobs's return to Apple. Apple boasted "the back of our computer looks better than the front of anyone else's."[251] Described as "cartoonlike", the first iMac, clad in Bondi Blue plastic, was unlike any personal computer that came before. In 1999, Apple introduced the Graphite gray Apple iMac and since has varied the shape, colour and size considerably while maintaining the all-in-one design. Design ideas were intended to create a connection with the user such as the handle and a breathing light effect when the computer went to sleep.[252] The Apple iMac sold for $1,299 at that time. The iMac also featured some technical innovations, such as having USB ports as the only device inputs. This latter change resulted, through the iMac's success, in the interface being popularised among third party peripheral makers – as evidenced by the fact that many early USB peripherals were made of translucent plastic (to match the iMac design).[253]


Main article: iTunes

iTunes is a media player, media library, online radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It is used to play, download, and organize digital audio and video (as well as other types of media available on the iTunes Store) on personal computers running the OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The iTunes Store is also available on the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Through the iTunes Store, users can purchase and download music, music videos, television shows, audiobooks, podcasts, movies, and movie rentals in some countries, and ringtones, available on the iPhone and iPod Touch (fourth generation onward). Application software for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch can be downloaded from the App Store.


Main article: iPod

The first generation of iPod was released October 23, 2001. The major innovation of the iPod was its small size achieved by using a 1.8" hard drive compared to the 2.5" drives common to players at that time. The capacity of the first generation iPod ranged from 5G to 10 Gigabytes.[254] The iPod sold for US$399 and more than 100,000 iPods were sold before the end of 2001. The introduction of the iPod resulted in Apple becoming a major player in the music industry.[255] Also, the iPod's success prepared the way for the iTunes music store and the iPhone.[256] After the 1st generation of iPod, Apple released the hard drive-based iPod classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, video-capable iPod Nano, screenless iPod Shuffle in the following years.[255]


Main article: iPhone

Apple began work on the first iPhone in 2005 and the first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. The iPhone created such a sensation that a survey indicated six out of ten Americans were aware of its release. Time Magazine declared it "Invention of the Year" for 2007.[257] The Apple iPhone is a small device with multimedia capabilities and functions as a quad-band touch screen smartphone.[258] A year later, the iPhone 3G was released in July 2008 with three key features: support for GPS, 3G data and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA. In June 2009, the iPhone 3GS, whose improvements included voice control, a better camera, and a faster processor, was introduced by Phil Schiller.[259] The iPhone 4 is thinner than previous models, has a five megapixel camera capable of recording video in 720p HD, and adds a secondary front-facing camera for video calls.[260] A major feature of the iPhone 4S, introduced in October 2011, was Siri, a virtual assistant capable of voice recognition.[257]


Main article: iPad

iPad is an iOS-based line of tablet computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010; the most recent iPad models, the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, were released on October 22, 2014. The user interface is built around the device's multi-touch screen, including a virtual keyboard. The iPad includes built-in Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity on select models. As of April 2015, there have been over 250 million iPads sold.[261]

Business life and possessions


Although Jobs earned only $1 a year as CEO of Apple,[262] Jobs held 5.426 million Apple shares worth $2.1 billion, as well as 138 million shares in Disney (which he received in exchange for Disney's acquisition of Pixar) worth $4.4 billion.[263][264] Jobs quipped that the $1 per annum he was paid by Apple was based on attending one meeting for 50 cents while the other 50 cents was based on his performance.[265]Forbes estimated his net wealth at $8.3 billion in 2010, making him the 42nd-wealthiest American.[266]

In 1982, Jobs bought an apartment in The San Remo, a Manhattan building with a politically progressive reputation. Other apartments were owned by Demi Moore, Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of Rita Hayworth. With the help of I. M. Pei, Jobs spent years renovating his apartment in the top two floors of the building's north tower. Nearly two decades later, he sold it to U2 singer Bono. Jobs had never lived there.<[267][268]

In 1984, Jobs purchased the Jackling House, a Script error: No such module "convert"., 14-bedroom Spanish Colonial mansion designed by George Washington Smith in Woodside, California. Although it reportedly remained in an almost unfurnished state, Jobs lived in the mansion for almost ten years.[citation needed]

According to reports, Jobs kept a 1966 BMW R60/2 motorcycle in the living room of the Jackling House. He let President Bill Clinton use it in 1998. Clinton had dined with Jobs and fourteen Silicon Valley CEOs there on August 7, 1996, at a meal catered by Greens Restaurant.[269][270] Jobs, was a Democratic donor, was given the honor of being able to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom of the Clinton's White House.[271] According to Isaacson, during one late-night phone call, Bill Clinton once asked Jobs for some advice about the Lewinsky scandal. When Jobs told the President that, if the affair were true, " 'you've got to tell the country'...There was silence on the other end of the line."[272]

Jobs allowed Jackling House to fall into a state of disrepair, planning to demolish the mansion and build a smaller home on the property. He met with complaints from local preservationists over his plans. In June 2004, the Woodside Town Council gave Jobs approval to demolish the mansion, on the condition that he advertise the property for a year to see if someone would move it to another location and restore it. A number of people expressed interest, including several with experience in restoring old property, but no agreements to that effect were reached. Later that same year, a local preservationist group began seeking legal action to prevent demolition. In January 2007, a court ruling forbade Jobs from demolishing the property.[273] The court decision was overturned on appeal in March 2010, and the mansion was demolished beginning in February 2011.[274]

Jobs' car was a silver Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG, which did not display its license plates, as he took advantage of a California law which at the time allowed for a maximum period of six months before plates had to be attached to new motor vehicles; Jobs leased a new SL every six months.[275] (The law was changed in 2012 to narrow the window to 90 days.[276])

During his late illness, Jobs helped design his Script error: No such module "convert". luxury yacht Venus (named after the deity)[277] to keep thoughts of death at bay. The interior was also designed by Philippe Starck.[278] The yacht was completed and launched after Jobs' death. It was later impounded due to an unpaid debt to Starck, which was paid by the Jobs' estate.[279]

Stock options backdating issue

File:Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (522695099).jpg
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at the fifth D: All Things Digital conference (D5) in May 2007

In 2001, Jobs was granted stock options in the amount of 7.5 million shares of Apple with an exercise price of $18.30. It was alleged that the options had been backdated, and that the exercise price should have been $21.10. It was further alleged that Jobs had thereby incurred taxable income of $20,000,000 that he did not report, and that Apple overstated its earnings by that same amount. As a result, Jobs potentially faced a number of criminal charges and civil penalties. The case was the subject of active criminal and civil government investigations, [280] though an independent internal Apple investigation completed on December 29, 2006 found that Jobs was unaware of these issues and that the options granted to him were returned without being exercised in 2003.[281]

On July 1, 2008, a US$7 billion class action suit was filed against several members of the Apple Board of Directors for revenue lost due to the alleged securities fraud.[282][283]

Management style

Jobs usually wore a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck made by Issey Miyake (it was sometimes reported as St. Croix brand), Levi's 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers to work.[284][285] 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."[284]

Jobs was perceived as a demanding perfectionist,[286][287] 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. He summed up this self-concept at the end of his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference and Expo in January 2007, by quoting ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky:

There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." And we've always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.[288]

Jobs's aggressive and demanding personality has been widely publicized. Fortune stated that he was "considered one of Silicon Valley's leading egomaniacs."[289]

In 1993, Jobs made Fortune‍ '​s list of America's Toughest Bosses in regard to his leadership at NeXT. NeXT cofounder, Dan'l Lewin, was quoted in Fortune: "The highs were unbelievable ... But the lows were unimaginable." In response to the article, Jobs's office explained that his personality had changed since then.[290] Apple CEO Tim Cook noted, "More so than any person I ever met in my life, [Jobs] had the ability to change his mind, much more so than anyone I’ve ever met ... Maybe the most underappreciated thing about Steve was that he had the courage to change his mind."[291]

In 2005, Jobs banned all books published by John Wiley & Sons from Apple Stores, as the company had published an unauthorized Jobs biography titled iCon: Steve Jobs.[292] In its 2010 annual earnings report, Wiley said it had "closed a deal ... to make its titles available for the iPad."[293] Jef Raskin, a former colleague, once said that Jobs "would have made an excellent king of France", alluding to Jobs's compelling and larger-than-life persona. [294]

Jobs had a public war of words with Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell, starting in 1987, when Jobs first criticized Dell for making "un-innovative beige boxes."[295] On October 6, 1997, at a Gartner Symposium, when Dell was asked what he would do if he ran the then-troubled Apple Computer company, he said: "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."[296] Then, in 2006, Jobs sent an email to all employees when Apple's market capitalization rose above Dell's:

Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn't perfect at predicting the future. Based on today's stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve.[297]

Jobs was a board member at Gap Inc. from 1999 to 2002.[298]

Apple's third cofounder Wayne explained that Job's personality was very cold. He recounted the times Jobs was ruthless, including one occasion in which Jobs asked Wayne to convince a friend to sell his company for Apple's benefit.[299]

Floyd Norman, of Pixar, described Jobs as a "mature, mellow individual" who never interfered with the creative process of the filmmakers.[300] In early June 2014, Pixar cofounder and Walt Disney President Ed Catmull revealed that Jobs once advised him to "just explain it to them until they understand." in disagreements. Catmull released the book Creativity Inc. in 2014, in which recounts numerous experiences of working with Jobs. Regarding his own manner of dealing with Jobs, Catmull writes:

In all the 26 years with Steve, Steve and I never had one of these loud verbal arguments and it's not my nature to do that. ... but we did disagree fairly frequently about things. ... I would say something to him and he would immediately shoot it down because he could think faster than I could. ... I would then wait a week ... I'd call him up and I give my counter argument to what he had said and he'd immediately shoot it down. So I had to wait another week, and sometimes this went on for months. But in the end one of three things happened. About a third of the time he said, 'Oh, I get it, you're right.' And that was the end of it. And it was another third of the time in which [I'd] say, 'Actually I think he is right.' The other third of the time, where we didn't reach consensus, he just let me do it my way, never said anything more about it.[301]

Reality distortion field

Apple's Bud Tribble coined the term "reality distortion field" (RDF) in 1981, to describe Jobs's charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Macintosh project.[302] Tribble claimed that the term came from Star Trek[302] and the term has since been used to refer to perceptions of Jobs's keynote speeches.[303]

Andy Hertzfeld described the RDF as Jobs's ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything, whereby he used a mix of charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing, appeasement, and persistence. Although the subject of criticism, Jobs's so-called RDF was also recognized as a concept that created a sense that the impossible was possible. Then, by motivating the people around him to create innovative products, Jobs was in turn able to market them creatively to reach a wide audience.[304] Once the term became widely known, it was often used in the technology press to describe Jobs's sway over the public—particularly regarding new product announcements.[305][306]

Philanthropy and politics

Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek magazine stated that "Jobs isn't widely known for his association with philanthropic causes", compared to Bill Gates's efforts.[307] In contrast to Gates, Jobs did not sign the Giving Pledge of Warren Buffett which challenged the world's richest billionaires to give at least half their wealth to charity.[308] In an interview with Playboy in 1985, Jobs said with respect to money, "The challenges are to figure out how to live with it and to reinvest it back into the world, which means either giving it away or using it to express your concerns or values."[309] Jobs also added that when he has some time he would start a public foundation but for now he does charitable acts privately.[310]

After resuming control of Apple in 1997, Jobs initially eliminated all corporate philanthropy programs.[97] Jobs's friends told The New York Times that he felt that expanding Apple would have done more good than giving money to charity.[311] Later, under Jobs, Apple signed to participate in the Product Red program, producing red versions of devices to give profits from sales to charity. Apple has gone on to become the largest contributor to the charity since its initial involvement with it. The chief of the Product Red project, singer Bono, cited Jobs saying there was "nothing better than the chance to save lives", when he initially approached Apple with the invitation to participate in the program.[312] Through its sales, Apple has been the largest contributor to Product Red's gift to the Global Fund, which fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, according to Bono.[313][314]

In a 2011 interview with biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs revealed that he had met with U.S. President Barack Obama, complained of the nation's shortage of software engineers, and told Obama that he was "headed for a one-term presidency."[315] Jobs proposed that any foreign student who got an engineering degree at a U.S. university should automatically be offered a green card. After the meeting, Jobs commented, "The president is very smart, but he kept explaining to us reasons why things can't get done.... It infuriates me."[315]

Jobs contributed to a number of political candidates and causes during his life, giving $209,000 to Democrats; $45,700 to associated special interests; and $1,000 to a Republican.[316]

Honors and Awards

File:Steve Jobs (1).JPG
Statue of Jobs at Graphisoft Park, Budapest.[317]
  • 2007: Jobs was named the most powerful person in business by Fortune magazine.[321]

Further information

Interviews (text and media)

Obituaries and memorials


Video clips

See also


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Business positions
Preceded by
Gil Amelio
CEO of Apple
Succeeded by
Tim Cook

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