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AsiaOne
Friday, Oct 07, 2011

Steve Jobs – creative ‘genius’, Apple Co-founder and innovative businessman. These are just some terms the grieving public have tagged to Job’s name.

Tecca.com gives you a closer look into Jobs life with these 8 things that you probably did not know about Steve Jobs:

1. Early life and childhood

Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955. He was given away at birth by his mother who wanted him to be adopted by college graduates.

He was supposed to be adopted by a lawyer and his wife who decided at the last minuted that the wanted a girl instead. So Jobs was given to a couple named named Clara and Paul Jobs who lived in California.

His adoptive father – a term that Jobs openly objected to – was a machinist for a laser company and his mother worked as an accountant.

Later in life, Jobs discovered the identities of his biological parents. His estranged father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, is a Syrian Muslim immigrant to the US. He left the country when he was 18 and is presently a vice president of a casino in Reno, Nevada.

His birth mother, Joanne Schieble (later Simpson) was an American graduate student of Swiss and German ancestry and later went on to become a speech language pathologist and eventually married.

While Jobs reconnected with his mother in later years, he and his father remained estranged.

2. College dropout

The brain behind the most successful company in the world never graduated from college. Jobs attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon but dropped out after a single semester.

He told a graduating class of Stanford University that he did not see the value of spending all of his working-class parents’ savings on college tution when he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life.

He continued, however to “drop in” on classes that interested him, including a calligraphy class he cited as the reason Macintosh computers were designed with multiple typefaces.

In the famouse 2005 commencement speech to Stanford University, Jobs said of his time at Reed: “It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.”

3. Lied to his Apple co-founder about a job at entertainment software company Atari

Did you know Jobs played an essential role in making the popular and influential video game ‘Breakout’ created by Atari.

When Jobs was an employee of Atari he was tasked with creating a circuit board for the game. He was offered $100 for each chip that was eliminated from the game’s final design.

Since Jobs had little knowledge of or interest in circuit board design he struck a deal with Apple co-founder and friend, Steve Wozniak. They were to split the bonus evenly between the two of the, if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips.

Wozniak reduced it by 50 chips which resulted in a $5,000 bonus. But according to Wozniak’s own autobiography, Jobs told Wozniak that Atari had given them only $700 and that Wozniak’s share was therefore $350.

 

4. His sister is a famous author

Steve Jobs first met his biological sister in 1986. Mona Simpson (born Mona Jandali) is the well known author of ‘Anywhere But Here’ – a story about a mother and daughter that was later made into a movie starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon.

After reuniting, Jobs and Simpson developed a close relationship. When speaking about his sister, Job told a New York Times interviewer: “We’re family. She’s one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days.’

‘Anywhere But Here is dedicated to “my brother Steve.”

5. Celebrity romances

It is written in two unauthorized biographies of Steve Jobs, that he had a relationship with American fold singer Joan Baez. Baez confirmed the the two were close “briefly,” though her romantic connection with Bob Dylan is much better known (Dylan was the Apple icon’s favorite musician).

The biography also notes that Jobs went out with actress Diane Keaton briefly.

6. His first daughter

Jobs had his first child when he was 23 with his high school girlfriend Chris Ann Brennan. Lisa Brennan Jobs was born in 1978, just as Apple was on the rise in the tech world.

He and Brennan never married, and Jobs reportedly denied paternity claiming he was sterile in court documents. He went on to father three more children with wife Laurene Powell. After later mending his relationship with Lisa, Jobs paid for her education at Harvard.

7. Alternative lifestyle

According to Tecca.com Jobs hinted at his early experience with the hallucinogenic drug LSD. Jobs said in an interview about Microsoft founder Bill Gates that he thinks if Gates would be a “broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger”.

In a book interview, Jobs called his experience with the drug “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”

Jobs travelled to India to visit the well-known Kainchi Ashram from which he went back to the US as a Zen Buddhist.

Jobs was also a pescetarian who didn’t consume most animal products, and didn’t eat meat other than fish.

8. His fortune

Jobs only earned $1 a year when he was the CEO of Apple. He kept his salary as $1 since 1997, the year he became the company’s lead executive. Of his salary, Jobs joked in 2007: “I get 50 cents a year for showing up, and the other 50 cents is based on my performance.”

In early 2011, Jobs owned 5.5 million shares of Apple. After his death, Apple shares were valued at US$377.64 (S$491.838) – a roughly 43-fold growth in valuation over the last 10 years that shows no signs of slowing down.

Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: AFP , Reuters & Internet)
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