People Who Kick Buts: Steve Jobs
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.
- Born on February 24, 1955; passed away on October 5, 2011.
- An American business magnate and inventor.
- He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs was co-founder and previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney.
- Jobs attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. He frequented after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California, and was later hired there, working with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee. Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, while sleeping on the floor in friends’ rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. Jobs later 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.”
- Jobs was born in San Francisco to graduate students Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, a Syrian from the city of Homs, and Joanne Carole Schieble (now Simpson, due to a later marriage), an American, who met at the University of Wisconsin. Jobs was immediately placed for adoption after Schieble’s father opposed their marriage. Jandali later became a professor of political science while Schieble became a speech language pathologist.
Jandali is currently vice president of Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Reno, Nevada. Schieble and Jandali married in December 1955 four months after her father died and ten months after giving up their baby boy. Their daughter, Jobs’s biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson was born in 1957. Schieble and Jandali divorced in 1962.
The siblings first met in 1984, and kept their relationship a secret until 1986. They enjoyed a close adult relationship, with Jobs regularly visiting Simpson in Manhattan. From Simpson, Jobs learned more about their birth parents and he invited his biological mother Joanne to some events. Jandali’s attempts, late in his life, to contact Jobs were unsuccessful; Interviewed in August 2011 when Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple, Jandali said, “Sadly, [Joanne’s] father was a tyrant and forbade her to marry me as I was from Syria. So she told me she wanted to give the baby up […] I honestly do not know to this day if Steve is aware that, had it been my choice, I would have loved to have kept him […] I just wish I hadn’t been the selfish man I must have been, to allow both my children to turn their backs on me and pray it is not too late to tell Steve how I feel.”
Simpson lives in a nursing home in Los Angeles. Jobs apparently did not try to meet his father even after his public request for a reunion.
- On October 5, 2011, around 3:00 p.m., Jobs died at his home in Palo Alto, California, aged 56, six weeks after resigning as CEO of Apple. A copy of his death certificate indicated respiratory arrest as the immediate cause of death, with “metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor” as the underlying cause. His occupation was listed as “entrepreneur” in the “high tech” business.