Some Surprising Facts You Don't Know about Steve Jobs: middle name, illegitimate daughter, lost sister, and more

Introduction

With the passing of Steve Jobs on October 5th, 2011, Apple Computers and the tech world have lost someone that has changed the world of technology forever by his presence (and now, his absence).

Here are some facts about Steve Jobs that you may not know, but are interesting nonetheless.

Steve Jobs at WWDC 2007
Steve Jobs at WWDC 2007 | Source

Did Steve Jobs cheat Steve Wozniak?

ClassicGaming.GameSpy.com reported that Steve Jobs took $5000 of bonus from Atari, for a job Steve Wozniak did (it was supposed to be split evenly), and gave only $350 to Steve Wozniak, claiming that's half of what he got.

Facts about His Life Before Apple Computers

  • Full name: Steven Paul Jobs
  • Born in San Francisco, California
  • Adopted as a baby by the Jobs family
  • Birth parents were Syrian (father) and German-American (mother)
  • Have a blood sister: Mona by same birth parents
  • Have a adopted sister, Patti, who was also adopted by the Jobs family
  • Went to high school in Cupertino, California
  • Worked at Hewlett Packard (in Palo Alto, California) during summers
  • Apparently young Steve wrote to head of HP for a part to finish his project, and the head was impressed enough to offer him a summer job there.
  • Went to Reed College in Oregon after graduation, and dropped out after 1 semester (but continued to audit classes for several months)
  • First "real job" was at Atari, employee #40
  • Was moved to evening shift when fellow workers complained about this very rude guy (never wears shoes, and have opinion for everything)
  • Devout Buddhist, actually went to India to visit a guru and came back with shaved head and wearing Indian clothing for a while, while working at Atari

Some more personal facts

  • Has a daughter Lisa, born out of wedlock in 1978, with Chris Ann Brennan
  • For many years Jobs claimed Lisa could not be his because he was sterile.
  • He eventually changed his mind and have her move into his home, and paid for her education in Harvard.
  • The Apple Lisa computer was allegedly named after daughter Lisa, though this was never confirmed. When asked, Jobs claimed computer Lisa is an acronym.
  • Found his birth mother in 1980, and his blood sister, Mona, in 1984.
  • Knew of his birth father but choose not to meet him, claiming he learned a few things about his father that he didn't like.
  • Married current wife, Laurene, in 1991. Official story was she's a graduate student who just happen to meet and fell in love with Steve Jobs at Stanford. Unofficially, her roommate claimed she's out specifically to meet him (see official biography)
  • Has three children, 2 daughters and 1 son.
  • Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003
  • Approached Walter Issacson to write his biography in 2004, but was turned down by Issacson.
  • Chose to embrace alternative medicine, such as juice diet, veganism, accupuncture, and other non-traditional procedures for 9 months, before having surgery.
  • Leading medical experts believe this delay had lead to complications down the road resulting in his early death.
  • Went against advice of various friends in tech regarding his cancer treatment, such as Intel head Andy Grove (a cancer survivor)
  • Undertook surgery in 2004 to remove the tumor, but apparently had no chemo or radiation therapy as follow-up.
  • Bloomberg accidentally released a pre-written obituary for Steve Jobs in 2008 (with no date or cause).
  • Went for a liver transplant in 2009, having signed up for transplant waiting list in more than one state (which is perfectly legal, but not practical for most people)
  • Asked Issacson to write his biography again, and this time issacson accepted.
  • Refused to meet with President Obama... unless Obama called him and ask for the meeting. (They eventually did meet, and yes, Obama did call)
  • Pass away October 2011.
  • At time of his passing, his net worth is well over 5 billion dollars, just counting shares at Disney AND Apple, not to mention his other income.
  • Drove a silver MB Coupe with no license plate, ever. Turns out, he swaps car every six months (California law allows new car owner to not display license plate for six months).

The co-founder nobody knew: Ronald Wayne

Ronald Wayne was the person who wrote the 3-way partnership agreement among him, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak. He was supposed to get a 10% stake in the company, but due to his financial situation, sold his shares in the company for $2300 USD. (Technically, it was $800, but he got another $1500 later to release ALL claims of ownership against Apple)

Apple Computer's first logo was drew by Ronald Wayne.

Facts about Founding of Apple Computers

  • Steve Jobs convinced Steve Wozniak to build some computers for sale. Jobs knew Wozniak for a long time. Both were members of HomeBrew Computer Club.
  • Apple Computer started as a three-person partnership among Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.
  • Apple got its name because Steve Jobs was working at a hippie apple farm at the time, was on a fruit diet (lots of apples), and the word "apple" would come before "atari" in a phonebook (according to biography).
  • Apple only got off the ground when Steve Jobs convinced Mike Markkula to invest and loan the company some money (about $250,000 USD). Markkula was also there to provide "adult supervision" as neither Wozniak nor Jobs have much corporate experience.
  • Apple's primary product at the time, was the Apple II family, which later included the Apple IIe, Apple IIe, and the very late Apple II gs.
  • Markkula convinced Jobs to hire Mike Scott from National Semiconductors as CEO in 1978, but after a few years, when Scott fired almost half of the company, Markkula replaced Scott as CEO.
  • Steve Jobs was head of the "Lisa" project, which was a competitor to the Macintosh project within Apple at the time. Marrkula convinced Jobs that Macintosh is a better product than Lisa, and Jobs eventually relented, and became the Macintosh line manager himself.
  • Steve Jobs hired John Sculley from PepsiCo in 1983 when Markkula decided he needed to step down and Sculley's corporate history is good for the company.
  • In 1985, Steve Jobs was removed from managerial position in Apple by John Sculley and Apple board of directors when Sculley believed Jobs is about to stage a boardroom coup and oust Sculley. Sculley reversed the coup instead. Jobs resigned a few months later, and founded NeXT Computer.

In the Meanwhile, over at Apple...

After Steve Jobs' ouster in 1985, Apple stock went up, as Wall Street believed that Steve Jobs, while innovative, is ultimately reckless and his ouster, and Apple ended up in hands of a real corporate guy (Sculley) who knows business, is GOOD for the company. For a while, the stock hit $200. That didn't last long.

In 1988, Sculley tried raising Apple prices. Sales had dropped even further. His pet project, the Newton PDA, was a complete flop when it finally launched in 1993 after much ballyhooed delays. The hardware then can't support the vision, nor can the market support the price. The Apple loyalists were confused by myriad of products, with no clear direction. Stock prices started to drop, and drop...

In 1993, the board ousted Sculley and brought in Michael Spindler, who tried his darndest, but he couldn't stem the tide as he's not willing to take drastic actions. He lasted less than 3 years.

In 1996, the board brought in Gil Amelio, from National Semiconductor. While Amelio is a turnaround expert, he's best at slashing and burning, with zero charisma. The Mac OS is getting old. The product lines are confused and mixed. Sales are horrible. Apple stock is trading at $14, down from $200 in its heyday.

Then Amelio decided to buy NeXT Computer, which brought Steve Jobs back to Apple... Apple needed a next generation operating system, and NeXT software is some of the best available. So he spent $425 million to buy NeXT... And he was ousted a few months later. The remaining senior officer at Apple announced that Steve Jobs is coming back to Apple as interim CEO.

Trivia about NeXT and Pixar

NeXT was founded in 1985 just after Job's ouster from Apple. Jobs sold all of his Apple stock and used the capital to found NeXT and still had money left over (which he then used to buy The Computer Graphics Group, which became Pixar, see later)

NeXT Computer was absolutely beautiful, and cost an arm and a leg and some misc parts. MSRP was $9999, and this was in 1990!

NeXTCube's case is made of magnesium, which made it extremely light, but also hard to make.

By 1993, NeXT became a software only company, having only sold 5000 computers, TOTAL. Its operating system, called NeXTSTEP, was released for Intel CPUs that year. It immediately posted a profit in 1994, its first ever.

In 1997, then Apple CEO Gil Amelio bought NeXT Computers, then resigned, and the Apple board voted to bring back Steve Jobs as interim CEO.

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Pixar was created when Steve Jobs bought "The Graphics Group" from LucasFilm. George Lucas then was going through a divorce, and chose to give his now ex-wife cash, and needed a lot of cash, and Jobs acquired the group for a mere $5 million, in 1985. He also threw in another 5 million as operating capital.

The company changed name to Pixar in 1986, with Jobs as Chairman and CEO.

Pixar was supposed to be a graphics hardware developer, and tried to market the "Pixar Image Computer". However, the world was not ready for a $135000 machine, no matter how powerful it is.

Pixar, for a while, also sold software, called "Renderman". It was used by many of Hollywood's elite, such as James Cameron, but it was not very profitable either.

To demonstrate the power of Pixar Image Computer, one of the engineers, John Lasseter, created animated short films using the PIC, and it received good reviews. As the financial woes of the company worsened, the animations department took on more and more "side jobs" which kept the company running. The trend continued when Pixar won several Academy Awards for short films.

In 1990, Steve Jobs sold the hardware business altogether, and turned Pixar into a pure animation studio.

In 1993, Pixar was approached by Disney's head Jeffrey Katzenburg, who loved the Pixar short films, to distribute full-length animation films. However, Disney would own character and story rights, AND sequel rights to the films, NOT Pixar. Pixar at the time, in a cash crunch, was not in position to object, though Jobs was not happy at all.

Jobs was furious when he later found that Katzenburg claiming that Disney never paid more than $15 million per animated film, had actually lied. Beauty and the Beast cost about $37 million.

Toy Story (released in 1995) became a run-away success, when Disney spent almost 100 million advertising it. Production cost for the movie is less than $35 million, and the movie did that much in box office that first weekend. It will go on to gross over 300 million.

Steve Jobs was amazed at the success of Toy Story and Pixar. He had left the company to run itself, while he runs NeXT, but when he was lauded as the intrepid CEO who took the chance and paid off, he took the reins back as president of Pixar.

When Pixar shares went public in 1995, Jobs became a billionaire.

Toy Story 2 originally was supposed to be a straight-to-video release, and was not counted as part of the 3-movie deal. However, when Disney upgraded it to a theatrical release, Pixar wanted it to be counted in the 3-movie deal, but Disney (headed by Michael Eisner after departure of Katzenburg), refused. Jobs, already furious with Disney due to now departed Katzenburg, became downright livid.

Disney and Pixar soon came to a gentleman's agreement: while Disney technically has the right to produce sequels and such to the Pixar films, they won't use such rights unless Pixar specifically passes on those opportunities. This truce was held until 2004.

In 2004, Pixar announced they will NOT be renewing distribution with Disney. Eisner then claimed Disney are going to make Toy Story 3 without Pixar. Together, it lead to the ouster of Disney chairman Michael Eisner.

The new chairman, Robert Iger, announced in 2006, that Disney is actually going to buy Pixar, in an all stock deal worth about 7.4 BILLION USD. That actually made Steve Jobs the single-largest individual shareholder of Walt Disney Company... at 7%. Eisner only have 1.7%, and Roy Disney Jr only has about 1%.

Conclusion

I hope you have learned a few things about Steve Jobs like I did and learned a bit more about this fascinating man.

Steven Paul Jobs, you will be missed.

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4 comments

joseph merlin profile image

joseph merlin 5 years ago from Jupiter

Yes this Hub is full of useful awesome and interesting information about Steve Jobs. I thanks to you for sharing the valuable information about Steve personal life and about Pixar and Disney. The information about Pixar is really knowledgeable for me.

Thanks Voted up as useful , awesome and interesting.


dobo700 profile image

dobo700 5 years ago from Australia

Thanks for the interesting facts.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Interesting Hub.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I never got around to reading Steve Jobs' biography, but heard it is pretty fascinating. Your hub has inspired me to get a copy. Thanks for the info.

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