15 Things You Never Knew About Steve Jobs

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He was adopted 

Steve Jobs was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs in 1955, while he was still a baby. He was almost adopted by a totally different couple who was very wealthy but at the last moment they decided to adopt a girl instead. Steve’s biological mother had Paul and Clara promise her that he would receive a college education despite the fact that neither of them had one. 

Baby Steve Jobs

Baby Steve Jobs


He was half Syrian 

Although he doesn’t look it, Steve Jobs was half Syrian. His biological father is Abdulfattah Jandali who is still alive today in his late 80’s. Jandali immigrated to America where he went to the University of Wisconsin. While he was there he met and fell in love with Steve’s biological mother, Joanne Schieble. Jandali was Muslim, while Schieble was a Catholic of Swiss and German descent. Schieble’s parents forbade her from marrying Jandali after she got pregnant because of their faith divide. 


His biological sister is a novelist 

Steve Job’s biological sister, Mona Simpson, is a novelist who wrote the popular book Anywhere But Here, which was later turned into a movie starring Natalie Portman. After Steve was adopted, his biological parents got married and had Mona. They would later divorce though. Steve and Mona’s mother remarried an ice skating coach named George Simpson. Steve and Mona met and became very good friends when he was 27. Steve also met his biological mother but never his father. 

Mona Simpson on the right

Mona Simpson on the right


He was bullied 

As a kid Steve was a loner. He didn’t make friends with kids his own age, instead he liked talking to his neighbors who were engineers. Because he kept to himself he was bullied in grade school. It got so bad that he told his parents in six grade that he needed to transfer schools or he would drop out. 


He worked for HP and Atari 

When Steve was just 13 years old he cold called the CEO of the company Hewlett-Packard, Bill Hewlett, and asked him for spare electronics parts for a project. Hewlett was so impressed with Steve on the phone that he offered him a summer job at the company. 

Steve’s friend Steve Wozniak, who would later help him start Apple, created his own version of the classic Atari game Pong. Jobs then took the game to Atari and showed them it. They were impressed because they thought he made it. They offered Jobs a job as a technician for the company. Steve would later create the game Breakout, which Wozniak greatly helped him out with. 

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He liked LSD

In his early twenties, Steve experimented with psychedelic drugs, in particular LSD. He has said that his LSD experiences were “one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life.” During this period he briefly lived at a commune in Oregon and started practicing Zen Buddhism. He even considered becoming a monk. 


He sold illegal electronics

Steve Wozniak invented an electronic device called the “Blue Box.” It allowed its users to make long distance phone calls for free. This was illegal but Jobs convinced Wozniak that they could sell them for a profit. Building and selling the blue boxes was the birth of Steve and Woz’s business relationship. Jobs was once quoted that “if not for the blue boxes, there would be no Apple.  

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He named the company Apple from his times at the commune 

In 1976, Steve Wozniak designed and created the first Apple I computer. He showed it to Jobs who said that they could sell it. Thus, their computer company was born. Jobs named it Apple based on his times in Oregon living in the commune. One of his favorite places to go was their apple orchards. 

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He wore a “uniform”

While Apple was starting to take off was when Steve perfected his signature look. Everyday he wore a black long-sleeved turtle neck, Levi 501 blue jeans and New Balance 991 sneakers. He credits his clothing inspiration from a famous math professor at Brown University named Stuart German. Steve both liked having a uniform for himself and establishing a signature style. 


He denied paternity of his daughter 

Chrisann Brennan was Steve Job’s first girlfriend. They met when she was a senior in high school and he was in college. They had an on-again-off-again relationship. In 1977, while Brennan was working at Apple she got pregnant. When she told Steve he was not happy. He claimed to be infertile so the baby couldn’t be his. On May 17, 1978, Brennan gave birth to a baby girl she named Lisa. At the same time Jobs came out with a computer called LISA as well. He claimed it was LISA for “Local Integrated Software Architecture." Decades later he admitted it was named after his daughter. Jobs did a paternity test and he was 94% the father. 

Steve and his daughter Lisa.

Steve and his daughter Lisa.


He was worth $250 million when he was 25

When Steve Jobs was 23 he made his first million dollars. When he was 25 he was worth $250 million. He was one of the youngest richest person on the Forbes list. He did without inheriting any wealth either. 


He left Apple in 1985 

Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985 after a disagreement with John Sculley, Apple’s then-CEO. They had differences between main priorities within the company. Jobs wanted to focus advertising on the Macintosh while Sculley wanted to keep focus on the Apple II. The board of directors sided with Sculley and Jobs turned in his resignation. 


He helped create Pixar

In 1986, Jobs funded a spinout company called The Graphics Group from Lucasfilms for $10 million. The company was later renamed Pixar and it made several box office hit films like Toy Story, Monster’s Inc., Finding Nemo and many more. He sold Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion dollars worth of stock in 2006. Steve Jobs gave the filmmakers complete creative control. 


His comeback

Jobs came back to Apple in 1997. He convinced them to buy the computer company he was working on called NeXT Inc. While he was gone, Jobs worked to add perfect design to his products as well as function. Jobs was named Apple’s CEO and a lot of the tech he developed for NeXT made it into Apple products, especially the Macintosh. Jobs revitalized the company with products like iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, MacBook, and the iPad

He got cancer

In 2003, Steve was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Usually, pancreatic cancer is very aggressive and hard to treat. However Steve’s form of cancer wasn’t too aggressive but his doctors wanted to give him surgery to remove a tumor. Steve denied Western medicine at first and treated his cancer by changing his diet, acupuncture and other alternative medicines. This lasted for nine months until Jobs gave in and got surgery to remove the tumor in his pancreas.  

In October 2011, Jobs passed away due to complications from cancer. He lived roughly eight more years after his initial diagnosis. Some of his doctors said if he would have gotten the surgery in the beginning he could have been cured. 

When he died Steve Jobs was worth over $10 billion and had over 300 patents in his name. 

He was buried in an unmarked grave. 

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