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Spotlight On: Steve Jobs, The Genius Behind Apple and Pixar

Updated on July 23, 2014

Steve Jobs: 1955 - 2011

His "stevenotes" became famous for announcing new products
His "stevenotes" became famous for announcing new products | Source

Quick Bio

Name: Steven Paul Jobs

Born: February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, CA. - adopted at birth

Parents: Steven Reinhold Jobs (1922-1993) and Clara Jobs (1924-1986)

Married: Laurene Powell 1991 to his death

Children: Reed, Erin, Eve and step-daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Siblings: Patricia, born 1957. He later learned he had a biological sister, author Mona Simpson, born in 1957

Died: October 5, 2011, pancreatic cancer, at age 56

Occupation: Co-Founder Chairman and CEO, Apple Inc., Co-founder and CEO, Pixar, Founder and CEO, NeXT Inc.

Board Member: The Walt Disney Company and Apple Inc.

Steve Jobs - 1972 high school yearbook photo

Steve Jobs -1972 yearbook pix - high school senior at Homestead  High School in Cupertino, California
Steve Jobs -1972 yearbook pix - high school senior at Homestead High School in Cupertino, California | Source

Without adoption, life could have turned out very differently for Steve Jobs

They say we are a product of our upbringing and environment, and if that is true, Steve's life might have taken a very different turn if he had not been adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs.

Recounting some of his adoption story in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University (see video below), he realized that life with his biological parents would have been a much different upbringing, most likely without the exposure to electronics as much as he had, the friendships he cultivated or living and working among the new technology companies of Silicon Valley.

Although Paul and Clara Jobs had both passed away by 2005, Steve Jobs told the graduating class that he was very proud to be their son and to have had them as his parents, his only parents.

Given the times in the 1970s and how quickly technology advanced, Steve "Woz" Wozniak's idea for the Apple computer probably would still have come to be without the input of Steve Jobs, but likely under another name and different leadership, possibly with one of the other hi-tech Silicon Valley companies.

Steve Jobs: Early Life - An Adoption Success Story

The man we came to know as Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, CA to a college teacher, Abdulfattah (John) Jandali, of Syrian descent, and a college student, Joanne Schieble, of Swiss descent, who were unmarried at the time. They gave their baby boy up for adoption because Joanne Schieble's family did not approve of her relationship with Jandali.

On February 24, 1955, he was named Steven Paul Jobs by his adopted parents, Paul and Clara Jobs, a blue-collar Armenian American couple in their early 30's.

One of the stipulations of the biological mother for adopting her baby was that she wanted the new parents to be college graduates. After learning Paul and Clara were not college graduates, she did sign the adoption papers, but only after getting assurance that the child would be college educated or at least encouraged to attend. Trying to fulfill this promise when Steve graduated from high school would threaten to financially deplete the couple's retirement savings account.

Unbeknownst to the adoptive couple and the biological parents at the time, they didn't need to worry too much about a college education when life lessons would serve the child just as well, if not better.

When Steve was five, the Jobs family moved from San Francisco to Los Altos, California, the mecca of what was to become the electronics capital of the world - Silicon Valley. There were many opportunities to get into the ground floor of technology. Clara Jobs went to work for Varian Associates, a Silicon Valley technology firm, as a payroll accountant. Paul Jobs was a mechanic, carpenter, and later an electronics enthusiast.

Surrounded by electronic companies like Atari and Hewlett Packard, both for whom Steve would work during his teenage summers, even his father couldn't help but dabble in gadgets and electronics in his garage as one of his many hobbies. Of course, it rubbed off on his son as assembling and reassembling, building and repairing became a much enjoyed father and son past time. Before he entered his teen years, Steve was well on his way to eagerly pursuing a life centered around electronics.

In June 1957, the Jobs family became complete with the adoption of a daughter, Patricia (Patty). Steve was raised in the Lutheran faith, but later followed Zen Buddhism. Both parents lived long enough to see some of Steve's success; Clara died in 1986; Paul in 1993.

It wasn't until Steve started searching for his biological parents in 1985 that he found out they had indeed married in December 1955, eleven months after they gave him up for adoption. He was happy to learn he had a biological sister, Mona Simpson, who was born in 1957 and grew up to become an accomplished novelist. The Jandalis divorced in 1962 and went their separate ways.

Years later during her brother's eulogy, Mona Simpson told about how her father bragged that he once managed a large Silicon Valley Mediterranean restaurant which was so popular that even Steve Jobs ate there, adding that he was a great tipper.

In a 2003 interview with 60 Minutes, a television magazine show, Jobs said what little he had learned about Jandali from Mona, he didn't like. He asked her not to share anything about himself with Jandali, nor to tell him that the two had ever met when he owned that restaurant in Silicon Valley.

Jandali had little way of knowing that Steve Jobs was his biological son because he had cut off all ties with his ex-wife and daughter after the bitter divorce. When Joanne Jandali remarried, Mona took her stepfather's name, Simpson. From 1987 until his death, Steve and Mona maintained a close relationship.

Hewlett-Packard

As a pre-teen, he attended lectures and workshops at the Hewlett-Packard plant in what was then a very young Silicon Valley. He became a member of the Hewlett-Packard Explorer Club which exposed him to new electronic products and according to the Encyclopedia of World Biography, it was this club that made him want to work with computers.

Other sources give credit to many other relationships:

  • his friendship with Bill Fernandez,
  • his introduction to Steve Wozniak,
  • his summer jobs at Hewlett-Packard and Atari
  • learning in his father's garage.

Really, it could have been any or a combination of all of these factors.

Author's note: At this point, it seems a little silly to this author that various websites and some people (who are now writing or filming biographies), are emphatically quibbling over just who should take credit for Steve's start in his life path and at what juncture in his life. One should view and be proud of his accomplishments, not worry about the credit for getting him started on those accomplishments.

Chance meetings

When Steve attended Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, he became friends with electronics enthusiast Bill Fernandez, who introduced then 13 year old Steve to his 18 year old neighbor and recent Homestead graduate, Steve "Woz" Wozniak.

The two had a lot in common since they both played pranks on people at Homestead High School during their time there.

"Woz" was a whiz kid, always tinkering and constructing electronic gadgets. By 1969, he was building a personal computer with Bill Fernandez. Woz and Steve's friendship carried over to employment when they both worked at Atari, an electronic game developer.

Despite their five year age difference, their friendship would become one of the most important relationships in their lives.

When Steve graduated from high school in 1972, he chose a rather expensive college to attend - Reed College in Portland, Oregon. His parents poured in their life savings and borrowed from their retirement funds to paying his tuition, only to watch him drop out six months later when he began using the psychedelic drug, LSD and developed an interest in Eastern Philosophy.

He expressed his desire to travel to India to meet Hindu guru, Neem Karoli Baba. To get there, he had to earn the money.

You won't know if you don't ask

Ideas for the Mac

One of the courses Steve audited at Reed College was in calligraphy. He credits the course with giving him the foresight and creativity of incorporating typefaces and fonts on the Mac.

"If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts."

-- Steve Jobs.

Source: wikipedia.com

Atari

Steve Jobs had a knack of being in the right place at the right time -- and making the right friends didn't hurt either. He became a driven salesman through and through, whether the idea was his or someone else's didn't matter - he could sell it.

He believed that if he didn't ask for help with something, then he'd never know if help would have come his way.

He was also very competitive, a trait which seemed to have served him well all his life, but was often taken for bullyness.

By 1972, Woz was nearly finished building his first Apple computer. On another side project (there always seemed to be side projects), Woz created his own version of "Pong," an arcade game. Jobs said he could take it to Atari, an electronics and video game developer, to see if they would be interested in buying it.

Woz agreed, gave him the circuit boards and Steve Jobs ended up getting hired at Atari. Several sources say an Atari executive thought Jobs had built the game himself, so that was why he hired him as a video game technician. Later Wozniak was hired at Atari as a video game developer.

Finally Going To India

Jobs worked for Atari until 1974, earning enough money to travel to India in search of spiritual enlightenment from Neem Karoli Baba, a spiritual leader he had heard so much about.

When he arrived in India, he learned Neem Karoli Baba had died in September 1973 - some six months before Jobs had started saving to go on the trip. At this point, he had already sacrificed to travel there, so he stayed for seven months bumping around India on their bus system.

He shaved his head, took to wearing Indian clothing, started using LSD and became a lifelong follower of Zen Buddhism. Seventeen years later, he and his wife Laurene were married in a traditional Buddhist ceremony in 1991.

He did not return home to his parents in California. Instead, he went to Portland, Oregon to join a commune where his daily job was caring, cultivating and picking apples. Some say this is where he got the idea to name his company, Apple.

He would continue to audit classes at Reed College while hanging out with an Oregon Hare Krishna group to get whatever free meals he could and slept on the dorm floors of whomever would let him. He never took a degree from his studies.

In June 1975, he went back to work at Atari. Steve and Woz began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club in Menlo Park, CA. Woz impressed the Club when he showed them his first computer, the Apple I, which was unique in several ways - it displayed characters on a TV-like screen and it could run video.

Apple I at the Smithsonian Museum

The first Apple Computer - an assembled circuit board, lacking monitor.  This unit is on display at the Smithsonian Museum.
The first Apple Computer - an assembled circuit board, lacking monitor. This unit is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. | Source

Another side job: How to get free long distance phone service

Woz had designed an electronic digital "blue box" which was a device that people would use to make free long distance phone calls thereby cheating the phone company out of being paid them.

Again, Steve Jobs saw the potential to make money on this venture, even though it was an illegal device.

In the following video, he partially credited the experience of building and marketing the blue boxes for some of Apple's success and in being able to go up against large companies.

Creating blue boxes for free long distance phone calls

Steve Jobs, Apple 1, 1975-76

Steve Jobs seen here with  Apple 1
Steve Jobs seen here with Apple 1 | Source
Steve and Woz with Apple I
Steve and Woz with Apple I | Source

With Woz's brains and Jobs' salesmanship, they were a good match.

Steve Jobs, always seeing opportunity, told Woz he wanted to market the Apple I computer as a circuit board.

Throughout my research, Woz didn't exhibit much ambition for the actual marketing of his ideas.

Truth be told, his ideas were great, but he needed someone like Steve to get them off the ground.

Clearly marketing strategies and suggestions were not Woz's niche.

However, he was very agreeable to kicking in some funds to finance Steve's suggestions.

The two sold some of their possessions and worked in the Jobs' garage creating a total of fifty circuit boards.

When they sold them, they had some of the needed capital to start their new company.

Woz, age 26, was the brains behind building, development and design in this partnership.

Jobs, age 21, was the salesman to get the projects to interested parties for financial backing and to get the each completed product to market.

It was a good match.

First home of Apple Computer Company

The garage at the Jobs home where Steve and Woz worked to build circuit boards to create Apple Computer Company in 1976.
The garage at the Jobs home where Steve and Woz worked to build circuit boards to create Apple Computer Company in 1976. | Source

1979 - 1980

Steve and Woz with Apple II
Steve and Woz with Apple II | Source
Steve Jobs in front of his new home in Los Altos, CA @ 1980. A home that would remain unfurnished for many years. It is now abandoned in danger of demolition
Steve Jobs in front of his new home in Los Altos, CA @ 1980. A home that would remain unfurnished for many years. It is now abandoned in danger of demolition | Source

Apple Computer Company is born

In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, (who had worked with them at Atari), created the Apple Computer Company in the garage of the Jobs home in Los Altos, California. Jobs was 21, Woz was 26 and Wayne was 42.

Ronald Wayne drew the logo, wrote the original Apple I manual as well as their partnership agreement. However, due to a bad experience in a previously failed venture to develop a slot machine company five years earlier, he didn't want to be a permanent partner in another company. Less than two weeks later, he sold his interest for $800 and agreed to forfeit any interest in the company.

Financially, it was a very poor business decision on his part.

A year later, in 1977, Apple's sales exceeded $2.7 million and in 1978 went to $7.8 million.

Ronald Wayne left Atari in 1978 and went on to sell rare stamps. Upon retirement, he moved to a mobile home park in a small town in Nevada.

****

As two of the youngest entrepreneurs to own their own computer company, Jobs and Wozniak were making a name for themselves with their product, but they were rather inexperienced in how to run the actual company. They also realized that they needed more funding to get their Apple II into the manufacture phase.

Working on his lifelong belief that if you don't ask, you'll never know, Steve Jobs then asked angel investor Mike Markkula, a semi-retired executive from Intel (a microchip company) to invest in Apple. With his investment of $250,000, Markkula became the third Apple employee in a company who liked to number their employees on their employee ID badges.

In February 1977, Mike Markkula approached entrepreneur Michael Scott to become CEO of Apple and to run the day to day operations. He held the position until March 1981 when a little power went to his head one Wednesday and he fired over 40 employees whom he believed were surplus.

Michael Scott was the first of many CEO's that would pass through Apple's doors. Scott was demoted to vice chairman in March 1981; Mike Markkula took over as CEO until 1983 but remained employed with the company until 1997.

Mike Markkula was a beta tester and programmer of early Apple software. He wrote a program to balance a checkbook in 1978, loading it onto a data cassette. When he complained it took too long to boot up from the cassette, Woz got to thinking and tinkering - which led to the development of the Disk II floppy disk drive.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Although Steve claimed "Lisa" was an acronym for "Local Integrated Software Architecture" it didn't hold much sway, especially after his friend, India traveling companion and twelfth Apple employee, Daniel Kottke, outed him in a 1982 Time Magazine article about the Apple Lisa, confirming that Lisa Brennan was his daughter.

A furious Steve Jobs said it was his private business. He then denied Kottke stock in Apple but Steve Wozniak later gave him some of his own shares of Apple stock.

Publicly, it all came up again in 2010 when Steve Jobs confirmed Lisa Brennan's paternity to Walter Isaacson during the many interviews he conducted while writing Jobs' biography. He said of the Apple Lisa, "Obviously, it was named for my daughter."

Lisa Brennan-Jobs lived with Steve and Laurene Jobs for a few years in her teens. Steve paid for her to go to Harvard University and she graduated in 2000. She is now a published author living in New York.

The Apple Lisa

In 1978, Steve Jobs had a baby girl with Christine Brennan, whom he had dated sporadically since high school. She named the baby, Lisa. Both parents were 23 years old. Steve had denied he was the father, stating he was sterile.

However he must have known in his heart that he was her father because that same year, Jobs started the development of a new Apple model, the Apple Lisa, aimed at individual business owners.

But by 1982, after four years of disagreements between Jobs and his development team, he was forced off the Apple Lisa project. In most cases, this would have been a bad thing, but he fell into an even better project. The Macintosh.

The Apple Lisa did come to be completed in 1983 and was offered for sale at a cost of $9,995. In 1984, a revision in the form of Lisa 2 brought the price down to between $3500 and $5000, still quite an expense in 1984 dollars.

When it was clear that no one wanted the Apple Lisa anymore, sales ceased in 1986.

If you have a working Apple Lisa, you may have a real collector's item. Depending on its condition, you could have a very valuable, albeit obsolete, computer!

Macintosh - 1984

Steve Jobs with Macintosh in 1984. The Mac had a high price tag and low sales.
Steve Jobs with Macintosh in 1984. The Mac had a high price tag and low sales. | Source

Mac or Windows

Do you prefer Mac or Windows operating system?

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The Macintosh

Early Prototype of Macintosh, 1981
Early Prototype of Macintosh, 1981 | Source
Macintosh 1984
Macintosh 1984 | Source

NeXT workstation

NeXT workstation was first released in 1990, priced at $9,999. It was largely unaffordable.
NeXT workstation was first released in 1990, priced at $9,999. It was largely unaffordable. | Source

Steve Jobs: The Macintosh and NeXT, Inc

The Macintosh was offered to consumers in January 1984. At a large price tag, it had very poor sales, so it was not a commercial success.

In 1983, Steve Jobs approached Pepsi-Cola president, John Sculley, to become CEO of Apple while Jobs continued as CEO, chief marketing executive and head of Macintosh Division. With the failure of Macintosh and tension between the two men, it created a power struggle between them.

A year later, Steve Jobs would find himself demoted to no position in the company and exiled to his home. After being phased out of his own company by Sculley, he was forced to resign completely from the Apple Computer Company.

With lots of ideas, he wouldn't be down and out for long.

In 1985, he decided to switch gears and start a company for hardware and software. He called it NeXT, Inc. However, after $7 million and nothing much to show for it, he had to look for a big ticket investor.

He approached and received a heavy financial investment from billionaire investor Ross Perot.

By 1988, the first NeXT computer was ready for sale and in 1990 a smaller version called NeXTstation was distributed. Sales were not great, about 50,000 units sold, so NeXT got out of the hardware end and stayed in software and programming. In 1993, the company finally showed a profit of $1 million.

Recognizing Being Obsolete

1986 and onward: Pixar

Life went on at Apple Inc as they went through many CEO's while Jobs was gone.

And, life went on for Steve Jobs as he bought another company and continued to make his mark on our world.

The Graphics Group, a division of LucasFilm (1971), was owned by Hollywood film director and Star Wars screenwriter George Lucas. Steve Jobs bought the company for $10 million in 1986 and renamed the company "Pixar."

While still running NeXT, his company Pixar would make another partnership that would change the way animated movies were made - with The Walt Disney Company in 1991.

Steve Jobs was instrumental in the development projects at Pixar, but heavily relied on creative chief, John Lasseter, for day to day development.

Pixar's first project was Luxo Jr. in 1986, followed by Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2 and the list goes on.

Both Lucas Film ($4 billion in 2012) and Pixar ($7.4 billion in 2006) were sold to The Walt Disney Company. Pixar was an all stock transaction making Steve Jobs the largest single stockholder in The Walt Disney Company, owning 7 percent of the company. Lucas Film was half stock, half cash.

It is interesting to note that Steve Jobs took $1 per year as salary as Apple CEO. However, he owned 5.4 million shares of Apple worth over $2 billion (in 2011), and 138 million shares of Disney stock (7% of the company) which was his payment for selling Pixar to Disney. The Disney stock was worth about $4.5 billion in 2011 at the time of Jobs' death.

His stock was transferred to the Steven P. Jobs Trust which is overseen by his wife, Laurene. The trust was later renamed Laurene Powell Jobs Trust.

Steve Jobs: On Pixar

About a cell phone idea

"You know, everybody has a cell phone, but I don't know one person who likes their cell phone. I want to make a phone that people love." -- Steve Jobs

iPhones

Although Apple started development of the iPhone around 2005, the first iPhone wasn't released for public sale until June 2007. It was a much publicized and much awaited piece of technology. The touch screen was something new to consumers.

In 2007, Time Magazine called it the Invention of the Year.

In 2008, the Apple iPhone 3G came out and it had a GPS program on it. Sales skyrocketed, this was definitely something consumers could use.

The iPhone 4S came out in October 2011. It was camera ready and had a voice recognition program.

Today, iPhones are the most popular brand of cellphone.

1996: Returning home to Apple

John Sculley, the man who was responsible for removing Steve Jobs from his own company in 1986, had been fired as CEO in 1993 for poor decisions regarding adding PowerPC, a microprocessor, to Apple's operating system. It cost the company dearly in profits. Sculley was replaced by Michael Spindler who was replaced a year later by Gil Amelio.

As Apple's CEO, Gil Amelio failed to revamp Mac's operating system so Steve Jobs' company NeXT, especially his NeXTSTEP operating system and WebObjects were looking real good to him.

$429 million later, Amelio agreed with angel investor Mike Markkula and several other Apple board of directors to hire Steve Jobs back as an advisor only. It was all Steve Jobs needed to get his foot back in the door after watching his company make a series of some not so great decisions over the last ten plus years.

It was no secret that Gil Amelio was on his way out of Apple's door partly because the price of Apple's stock was at a three year record low price per share and because the company was suffering big losses due to the many changes Amelio had proposed and supported in Apple's product lines.

In July 1997, Amelio was finally removed by the board of directors and Jobs was appointed interim CEO. Mike Markkula retired shortly after Jobs' return to Apple. It didn't last long; he went on to be a founding member of Echelon Corporation.

Jobs set about revamping the products to rebuild the company he and Woz had started back in 1976.

First up was to create an online store and sell Apple products over the internet, followed by terminating some projects like OpenDoc and Cyberdog which were not returning a profit. Employees worried also about being terminated because Jobs set about getting rid of dead weight - employees and products.

Apple went on to get into several other profitable markets with many products, including iMac, iBook, iPod, and iTunes store.

Success in most companies is not only determined by product sales but also by stock price. Stock price can also fluctuate due to the health of the man in charge. In 2003, Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and Apple's stock reflected the news at $6 per share. After Jobs' health improved during 2006, it was at $80 per share.

Steve Jobs - 3 short stories

In 2005, Steve Jobs was invited to give the commencement speech at Stanford University. In his opening statement, he said he only had three short stories.

They may have been three short stories, but they left an impact truly worthy of a college commencement speech that students and viewers of the video will carry with them forever.

Steve Jobs had been cleared of pancreatic cancer after the Whipple procedure in 2004. But it is clear during his speech that his longevity was on his mind.

2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford University

Test Your Steve Jobs Knowledge

How did Apple Company get its name?

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Comparison between 2007 and 2009

Comparing how Steve Jobs looked in September 2007 and September 2009. Photo has been altered with adding a frame
Comparing how Steve Jobs looked in September 2007 and September 2009. Photo has been altered with adding a frame | Source

Walter Isaacson's book "Steve Jobs"

Steve Jobs talks about God and what he thinks happens after death

While being interviewed by Walter Isaacson for his biography "Steve Jobs," he told Isaacson, “I’m about fifty-fifty on believing in God.”

“I like to think that something survives after you die,” Jobs said. “It’s strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures.”

Jobs then fell silent for what Isaacson describes as a “very long time,” before continuing.

“But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch. . . . Click! And you’re gone.”

Excerpt from an article on The Washington Post

When the doctor said: "Put your affairs in order," it was doctor-speak: "You are going to die."

Steve Jobs: Private Life

While we may know much about Steve Jobs' public life, his private life was just as interesting.

He dated folk singer Joan Baez for a couple of years. She began her career in 1958 when Steve Jobs was only 3 years old. Joan Baez was 14 years older than he.

In 1982, he bought an apartment in the top two floors of The San Remo, a NYC apartment building, whose residents were famous either in Hollywood or politics. He spent many years renovating and decorating, never to move in. He sold it in 2001 to Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2.

In 1984, he bought a sprawling 14 bedroom mansion named Jackling House in Woodside, California where he lived for ten years of the 27 years he owned it. A photo showing the front of the house with Steve and his motorcycle appears at the top right of this article. Although most of the house was unfurnished, he still entertained famous people, notably President Bill Clinton who reciprocated in kind by inviting Steve Jobs to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom at the White House. In 2004 the town council approved his request for demolition so Jobs could put a smaller home on the land. In 2007, members of a historical society won a court decision to prevent it, which was finally overturned in 2010. Jackling House was demolished in February 2011.

His trademark black turtle neck shirt and blue jeans became his uniform. He owned over 100 sets.

He married Laurene Powell in a Buddhist ceremony in March 1991. He had four children: Lisa Brennan-Jobs born in 1978, a son Reed (1991), Erin (1995) and Eve (1998).

He married during the time he was not in charge of Apple, but was still widely successful with NeXt, Pixar and other ventures.

Steve Jobs was a pescetarian - which means his diet was primarily vegetarian - no meat, only fish.

After meeting his biological sister, Mona Simpson, in 1985, he maintained a relationship with her until his death. Regarding Joanne Simpson, his biological mother, he only occasionally kept in touch with her. As of this writing (3/20/2014), she lives in a nursing home in Los Angeles, California.

John Jandali, Steve's biological father, upon learning of his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, mailed his medical and family history to him when attempts to contact him in other ways went unanswered.

In 1999, he greatly admired actor Noah Wylie and his portrayal of him in the TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley.

Jobs' Pixar production of Finding Nemo won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003.

In December 2007, Steve Jobs was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by Governor Arnold Schwartenegger.

Steve was a Beatles fan, and greatly admired their team approach.

2003 to 2011

In mid-2004, Jobs told Apple employees he had cancer of the pancreas, known as islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, a treatable cancer. For over nine months he chose not to follow medical advice and instead turned to Alternative Medicine, of which some medical professionals were very vocal.

Steve followed a strict vegan diet, tried acupuncture and other herbal remedies. He resorted to trying things he read online including bowel cleansings and juice fasts. He put off surgery so very long. Finally in July 2004, with Tim Cook left in charge of Apple, Steve had the Whipple procedure. When he received an all clear that the tumor was gone, he chose to not to follow common practice to have chemotherapy or radiation after the surgery.

In August 2008, Jobs' gaunt appearance again was noticed. In response Apple execs on one hand said he had a flu bug and on the other said his health was a private matter. Apple's employees and board of directors became concerned about his health.

In a most unusual mistake, in August 2008 the Bloomberg wire service published Steve Jobs' longish obituary, complete with blanks left to be filled in later. The error was not caught quick enough and in no time at all, his death went over the news wires.

At a September 2008, Steve Jobs quipped using Mark Twain's line that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. But by December 2008, he was too ill to deliver the year end keynote address and another board member took over the speech.

In January 2009, Apple stated Steve Jobs was suffering with a hormone imbalance, in an effort to account for his very drawn appearance. A week later, Jobs issued a memo informing employees that his health was more grave than previously thought and that he would be taking a six month leave of absence, leaving Tim Cook in charge again.

In April 2009, Steve Jobs had a liver transplant in Memphis, Tennessee with an excellent prognosis for recovery. However a year and a half later, in January 2011, he again took a leave of absence but still put in keynote speech appearances to introduce the iPad 2 and iCloud. Again his appearance was much remarked about and again he chose not to speak of it.

On August 24, 2011, Steve Jobs announced that he was resigning from Apple naming Tim Cook as CEO. Jobs was made chairman of the board and tried putting in a few appearances at the office, but it was short lived. Up until the day before he died, he was working in some way for Apple.

On October 4, 2011, Steve lost consciousness and at 3PM on October 5, 2011 he died peacefully at home with his wife and children at his side. Steve Jobs was 56 years old.

His death hit the news and wire services and soon memorials were being held around the world, hailing him as a visionary and a genius. Walter Isaacson's authorized biography was published two weeks later and several more unauthorized biographies followed in short order. Chrisann Brennan, his ex-girlfriend and mother of Lisa Brennan Jobs, wrote a scathing account of their life together and it was published in 2013. Many reviewers panned the book as a woman scorned. A link to an excerpt is provided in the Source list at the end of this article so you can decide for yourself.

Steve Wozniak - co-founder Apple

Laurene Jobs

Sources

Steve Jobs, wikipedia.com

Steve Jobs, biography.com

Steve Jobs, IMDb.com

Jobs Family Tree

Apple's CEO list from 1977 to 2011

Steve Jobs' Resignation Letter to Apple

http://stevejobsinfo.blogspot.com

The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2011

Wikipedia.org for Apple, Pixar, NeXt

notablebiographies.com

biography.com

allaboutstevejobs.com

washingtonpost.com

Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs

60 Minutes

bbc.com

An excerpt of Chrisann Brennan's book "The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life With Steve Jobs"

The last day of your life ...

If today were the last day of your life, how would you spend it?

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© Rachael O'Halloran. March 20, 2014 All Rights Reserved.

No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permission from the author. Use the following link to refer to this article. Do Not Copy. TYVM

http://hubpages.com/hub/Spotlight-On-Steve-Jobs


© 2014 Rachael O'Halloran

Comments

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  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

    Rachael, you are the master of this genre. I learned many things about Steve Jobs I didn't know. Taking us from the moment of his birth to his death is brilliant. You did an awesome job!

  • alison monroe profile image

    Alison Monroe 3 years ago

    This is excellent. His multiple families put Jobs in context; he was part of many circles and groups. I had quit reading about this man because so much was being made of his "leadership skills" as an individual that it was getting boring. This piece makes him interesting again.

  • RachaelOhalloran profile image
    Author

    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #alison monroe

    Thank you so much for your kind, uplifting comment!

    It does my heart good to read comments like yours and bravewarrior's. I agree how some biographies can be boring or derogatory, as if they felt the need to point out one's bad temper or bad habits. I've read a few of those along the way while researching, including his ex-girlfriend's "nothing nice to say" book about him.

    I want present people who had accomplishments to be proud of when they left this world -as I do with most of the biographies I write - and your comment reinforced my hope that I have delivered on that goal.

    Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts,

    Rachael

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #bravewarrior

    Oh, thank you for reading this through to the end. I was so afraid readers would give up part way through because it is so long.

    I thank you also for your gracious compliment.

    I struggled with the writing of this one for almost a month because of how young he was, how against treatment he was and how many accomplishments he had that impacted our daily lives (at least mine with technology gadgets in our house/life).

    While writing this, there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't pick up our cellphone, our iPad or use iCloud that I didn't think of him. It might have been menopausal symptoms but I'd find myself in tears after a fleeting thought or after reading someone's testimonial or shared memory.

    I can't say I necessarily gave him much thought when he was alive...he was just the face behind Apple. But since I started researching to write this, I was in a terrible funk - so much so that I delayed pubbing it until I was sure of the facts, the links, and photo attribution (which HP still says I am using Google images that are not properly attributed and I am missing the point with that altogether!).

    Steve Jobs had an interesting life from birth to death and I'm glad your comment implies that you got my point when you read the hub. It makes me feel good to get a comment like yours after exhaustive research and writing. Thank you very much. :)

    Rachael

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    FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

    This is an excellent hub. He was a complicated man, neither simply the hero or villain he was painted to be by others. He had super sales skills, great luck, genius, and awkward-at-best social skills. You've done a great job with this profile. Woz didn't get the credit he deserved.

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #FlourishAnyway,

    I agree Woz didn't get the credit he deserved in life (or in my hub). lol The reason I didn't emphasize him more is because 1) I wanted this biography to be about Steve Jobs and 2) Woz's story is really murky for details; there are very large gaps of unaccounted time. The research is just not available, he has his info tied up real tight and therefore it would have been a very short biography. :)

    When I pick out someone to profile with a biography, I look to see if I can be primarily complimentary and if I can't, then I pick someone else. I don't want to be added to a long line of people who speak ill - especially if the person is now dead. Lastly, I want to be proud of the piece I wrote; I have to live with me long after I hit the publish button, because once I hit publish, the all important "cached" copy will still remain on a search engine long after a work is unpublished - sort of trying to unring a bell. lol

    I tried to do Steve Jobs some justice when many other bios were too quick to point out flaws. From the comments so far, I think I have done that and I'm proud of the hub.

    Thank you for your comment and for your compliment regarding the quality of this hub.

    Rachael

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    Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is a very interesting hub about a fascinating person, Rachel. Steve Jobs was a complex person. I very much enjoyed learning more about him by reading your hub. It's sad that he died at such a young age. I've often wondered what else he would have accomplished if he had lived longer or if he had stayed healthy for the last years of his life.

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #AliciaC

    When I looked at the finished hub, hoping I had dotted all my i's and crossed my t's, somehow I knew I forgot something. Your last statement was a thought that fleetingly came across my mind and I jotted it down on my draft I just forgot to put it in the published hub. In a world that is already so populated with technological advancements, we can't help but wonder "what if" when we read about someone who has done so much to change our world and is taken at an early age. You are not alone in your wondering about it and we can only hope either one of his children inherited his drive, salesmanship and goes on to be as creative, or that he left behind some very detailed notes with Apple for future development of his ideas. lol

    Thank you for reading my profile on Steve Jobs and for your kind words. I thought he was fascinating too.

    Rachael

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    A great interest here on Steve Jobs am so glad to have read this hub a thoroughly researched and informative hub voted up, interesting. and useful.

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #DDE

    Steve Jobs had a busy productive life to say the least, which made it all the more interesting to research and to write this particular biography. It is hard to believe that in October it will be 3 years since he died. Where has the time gone? I think time seems to get away from us when we notice how long someone is gone.

    Thank you so much DDE for your comment and your votes. I appreciate it.

    Rachael

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    Susan W 3 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

    This is an excellent hub on Steve Jobs and his life with so much research done! He was the "Da Vinci" of our century, the true genius that brought so much to the human race. We are so lucky to have had him, he had such an amazing personality and the gadgets he designed were always phenomenal. He brought technology to the world in its best form.

    Like Alicia mentioned in the previous comments, I really do wonder what else he could have accomplished in his life. The world is struggling without him, especially Apple but I am glad for the gadgets that he brought to us.

    Well done, Rachael! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Voted up ++ and useful. I am sharing this great hub! :)

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #susi10

    Wow! Thank you so much for your gracious comment. This was a project that took well over a month to complete. I didn't really have a like, love or dislike for this man because I truly didn't know him until I started to research him for this article.

    In the process, I have come to not only like him but truly respect him for the genius he was.

    Everyone says without Steve Wozniak (Woz) that Steve Jobs was or would have been nothing, and that is only initially true.

    While it was undoubtedly Woz who was the brains behind the initial Apple I and II products, and had little input on product development for a short time after that, everything else from that point on had Steve Jobs' name and creativity on it.

    One can almost liken this to what we see so much in lives of famous people -- they need one person to get started on a life journey (path) and from that one person's idea or product, they continue on to make a name for themselves with more new ideas and products that stemmed from the first.

    It is almost like saying thank you very much for your idea and now I can take it from here with my own ideas.

    Reading the history of Apple (from 5 different sources who had 5 different stories!!) they all agreed that Jobs and Woz went their separate ways after a few years, with Woz heavily compensated financially, of course, with cash and stocks which will continue to support him through his retirement years, ... and, heck probably his heirs too!

    However, because he stopped creative input, Woz will never have more Apple product recognition after Apple II.

    The fact that Woz is not mentioned much after the first five years of Apple's history shows that Jobs took the proverbial ball and ran with it, building on the initial success of Apple I and Apple II, to keep the creativity going in bringing technological advancements out of Apple.

    Yes, he needed Woz's idea for that.

    But Woz needed Jobs for the startup and promotion too.

    In interviews I've seen with Woz since Jobs died, Woz agrees - he had a great idea, needed someone to help him market it, to get it out in front of the public. Then he improved on it with the Apple II and from there, he was content to go on with other ventures and interests.

    Jobs gets a bad rap because people say since his death that without Woz, he'd have been nothing, but it goes both ways.

    Without Jobs, Woz would not have had the success he did at a time when Silicon Valley was in infancy, and when companies wanted to market their own ideas to develop new products - not ideas that they'd have to share their company revenue and stocks with over the long haul, maybe into perpetuity.

    I don't think Woz - if he had gone with another Silicon Valley teck company - would have ever received the level of promotion and marketing that Jobs gave to his product (Jobs' specialty) nor do I think that Woz would have enjoyed the same success at age 26 with another company, that he had with Apple.

    I think he would have just been treated as just another garage inventor who sold an idea to a company, was paid for it, then given the bum's rush - thank you very much and there's the door.

    I'm not alone in the thinking that Woz would more than likely have gotten his idea out in public, and pitched it to some tecky company but would not have enjoyed any of the success he had with Apple and the lifelong income he now gets.

    Thank you so much for your comment, compliment, votes and above all, graciously sharing my hub to bring other readers. Thank you for the follow; I'm proud to follow you back as well.

    Rachael

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    Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

    Rachel, you have done an amazing job writing of the life of an iconic figure. Voted up!

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #vkwok

    Thank you so much for vote and comment; I appreciate you taking the time to read it. :)

  • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

    Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

    he was extremely extraordinory. a man who will be remembered for a long time. apple will never be the same.

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #Kathleen Odenthal

    I agree. He was a very extraordinary man. Thank you for reading and for your comment.

  • Ingenira profile image

    Ingenira 3 years ago

    Very well researched article. I will link hub article to my hub too ! :)

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #Ingenira - thank you, I think it is great that a few of us wrote awesome hubs that we are proud to refer our readers to for further reading. Thank you for linking and for commenting.

    Rachael

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    Howard Schneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

    Excellent biographical Hub, Rachel. Great information about one of our genius silicon valley pioneers.

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #HSchneider - Thank you so much for reading it and for commenting. Glad to have you as a follower and to follow you back :)

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    Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

    Dear Rachael,

    I was right. This was tremendous. In-depth is not the word. You took research to a whole different level. I loved it. Voted up and all the choices.

    Keep up the fine work, Rachel.

    Keep in touch with me.

    Your Friend,

    Kenneth

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #kenneth avery,

    Thank you, kind sir. I appreciate your comment and votes.

  • NateB11 profile image

    Nathan Bernardo 3 years ago from California, United States of America

    I really like a lot of what Jobs had to say about life and what people ought to do with their lives. But I didn't know a lot about his life. I learned a lot reading this article, about Jobs background and what he went through. I was quite surprised that Ross Perot invested in one of his projects. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing, fascinating stuff.

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #NateB11

    I thought we were following each other until I noticed earlier tonight that I wasn't following you, even though I am reading your hubs. An oversight on my part. Thanks for following me back. :)

    Thanks for reading this long hub and for hanging in there to the end. I tried to show a more human side of Steve Jobs rather than defer to the mud-slinging, name calling rhetoric I had to sludge through to get to the heart of his biography.

    There was a lot of false info out there too, so trying to figure out what was true and what wasn't required a lot of digging, even a phone call to my son, who worked for Apple until 1999 to verify certain facts I came across.

    Re: Ross Perot. Bill Gates gave him an opportunity to invest in Microsoft and he said no. Imagine the profits he'd have from Microsoft today! Anyway Perot didn't want to miss out on the NeXT big thing, so $20 million later when he had nothing to show for it, he decided it was a loser and pulled out. He relinquished all his rights to future profits so that he again missed out on the profits of NeXT software which supplies a 45% market share in pre-loaded games, office programs, and other software for new computer packages for Windows and Mac.

    Even though this project took over a month to complete, I'm very happy with the way it turned out. I'm even more happy that those who have come to read it enjoy it too.

    Thank you for following me and for your comment.

    Rachael

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    PS Ross Perot ended up buying Dell, so he still got into the computer business. lol

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    Nathan Bernardo 3 years ago from California, United States of America

    I'm glad to be following and appreciate your following me too.

    I know what you mean about the mud-slinging toward Jobs; which I don't understand, he had some very unique and important things to say, in addition to being a unique person and innovator in the technology business.

    That is interesting about your son, it is good to have first-hand actual accounts of the facts. Also, that is very interesting information about Perot. He missed out on a couple opportunities there, but in the end sounds like he made a decent move by buying Dell. I'd only remembered him as that guy who ran for President in the late 80s (if I remember correctly).

    Thanks again.

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    Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

    #NateB11,

    As time goes by, maybe more people will appreciate the vision Steve Jobs had for Apple and the legacy he left behind, not only in product line but also for the future of the company.

    It is true that without Woz, there would be no computer.

    But without Jobs, there would have been no Apple, because Woz didn't have the wherewithal to put all those wheels in motion to get Apple off the ground.

    Jobs needed Woz's product, but after that, it was all Jobs.

    Ross Perot sure did make out like a bandit buying Dell! Of course, that's how the rich get richer, by making nice acquisitions like that one.

    I try to spotlight people I find interesting, but I can't say I'll be showcasing Ross Perot anytime soon, not unless he makes another run for President or does something else momentous!

    I've got more great hubs coming up on a variety of topics. See you soon. :)

    Rachael

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