Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs (/ˈdʒɒbz/; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur and inventor, best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming “one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies…” Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar. Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC’s mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Apple Lisa and, one year later, the Macintosh. He also played a role in introducing the LaserWriter, one of the first widely available laser printers, to the market.
After a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs left Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher-education and business markets. In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm, which was spun off as Pixar. He was credited in Toy Story (1995) as an executive producer. He served as CEO and majority shareholder until Disney’s purchase of Pixar in 2006. In 1996, after Apple had failed to deliver its operating system, Copland, Gil Amelio turned to NeXT Computer, and the NeXTSTEP platform became the foundation for the Mac OS X. Jobs returned to Apple as an advisor, and took control of the company as an interim CEO. Jobs brought Apple from near bankruptcy to profitability by 1998.
As the new CEO of the company, Jobs oversaw the development of the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, and on the services side, the company’s Apple Retail Stores, iTunes Store and the App Store. The success of these products and services provided several years of stable financial returns, and propelled Apple to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in 2011. The reinvigoration of the company is regarded by many commentators as one of the greatest turnarounds in business history.
In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreas neuroendocrine tumor. Though it was initially treated, he reported a hormone imbalance, underwent a liver transplant in 2009, and appeared progressively thinner as his health declined. On medical leave for most of 2011, Jobs resigned in August that year, and was elected Chairman of the Board. He died of respiratory arrest related to his metastatic tumor on October 5, 2011.
Jobs received a number of honors and public recognition for his influence in the technology and music industries. He has been referred to as “legendary”, a “futurist” or simply “visionary”, and has been described as the “Father of the Digital Revolution”, a “master of innovation”, and a “design perfectionist”.
Early life and education
Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955 to two university students, Joanne Carole Schieble, of Swiss Catholic descent, and Syrian-born Abdulfattah “John” Jandali (Arabic: عبدالفتاح جندلي), who were both unmarried at the time. Jandali, who was teaching in Wisconsin when Steve was born, said he had no choice but to put the baby up for adoption because his girlfriend’s family objected to their relationship.
The baby was adopted at birth by Paul Reinhold Jobs (1922–1993) and Clara Jobs (1924–1986), an Armenian American whose maiden name was Hagopian. According to Steve Jobs’s commencement address at Stanford, Schieble wanted Jobs to be adopted only by a college-graduate couple. Schieble learned that Clara Jobs hadn’t graduated from college and Paul Jobs had only attended high school, but signed final adoption papers after they promised her that the child would definitely be encouraged and supported to attend college. Later, when asked about his “adoptive parents”, Jobs replied emphatically that Paul and Clara Jobs “were my parents.” He stated in his authorized biography that they “were my parents 1,000%.” Unknown to him, his biological parents would subsequently marry (December 1955), have a second child, novelist Mona Simpson, in 1957, and divorce in 1962.
The Jobs family moved from San Francisco to Mountain View, California when Steve was five years old. The parents later adopted a daughter, Patty. Paul worked as a mechanic and a carpenter, and taught his son rudimentary electronics and how to work with his hands. The father showed Steve how to work on electronics in the family garage, demonstrating to his son how to take apart and rebuild electronics such as radios and televisions. As a result, Steve became interested in and developed a hobby of technical tinkering.
Clara was an accountant who taught him to read before he went to school. Clara Jobs had been a payroll clerk for Varian Associates, one of the first high-tech firms in what became known as Silicon Valley.
Jobs’s youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. At Monta Loma Elementary school in Mountain View, he frequently played pranks on others. Though school officials recommended that he skip two grades on account of his test scores, his parents elected for him only to skip one grade.
Jobs then attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. At Homestead, Jobs became friends with Bill Fernandez, a neighbor who shared the same interests in electronics. Fernandez introduced Jobs to another, older computer whiz kid, Steve Wozniak (also known as “Woz”). In 1969 Woz started building a little computer board with Fernandez that they named “The Cream Soda Computer”, which they showed to Jobs; he seemed really interested. (Woz has stated that they called it the Cream Soda Computer because he and Fernandez drank cream soda all the time whilst they worked on it and that he and Jobs had gone to the same high school, although they did not know each other there.)
Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Reed was an expensive college which Paul and Clara could ill afford. They were spending much of their life savings on their son’s higher education. Jobs dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes, including a course on calligraphy. He continued auditing classes at Reed while sleeping on the floor in friends’ dorm 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.”
In 1974, Jobs took a job as a technician at Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California. He travelled to India in mid-1974 to visit Neem Karoli Baba at his Kainchi Ashram with a Reed College friend (and, later, an early Apple employee), Daniel Kottke, in search of spiritual enlightenment. When they got to the Neem Karoli ashram, it was almost deserted as Neem Karoli Baba had died in September 1973. Then they made a long trek up a dry riverbed to an ashram of Hariakhan Baba. In India, they spent a lot of time on bus rides from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh and back, then up to Himachal Pradesh and back.
After staying for seven months, Jobs left India and returned to the US ahead of Daniel Kottke. Jobs had changed his appearance; his head was shaved and he wore traditional Indian clothing. During this time, Jobs experimented with psychedelics, later calling his LSD experiences “one of the two or three most important things done in life”. He also became a serious practitioner of Zen Buddhism, engaged in lengthy meditation retreats at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the oldest Sōtō Zen monastery in the US. He considered taking up monastic residence at Eihei-ji in Japan, and maintained a lifelong appreciation for Zen. Jobs would later say that people around him who did not share his countercultural roots could not fully relate to his thinking.
Jobs then returned to Atari, and was assigned to create a circuit board for the arcade video game Breakout. According to Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Atari offered $100 for each chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little specialized knowledge of circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the fee evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari engineers, Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50, a design so tight that it was impossible to reproduce on an assembly line. According to Wozniak, Jobs told him that Atari gave them only $700 (instead of the offered $5,000), and that Wozniak’s share was thus $350. Wozniak did not learn about the actual bonus until ten years later, but said that if Jobs had told him about it and had said he needed the money, Wozniak would have given it to him.
In the early 1970s, Jobs and Wozniak were drawn to technology like a magnet. Wozniak had designed a low-cost digital “blue box” to generate the necessary tones to manipulate the telephone network, allowing free long-distance calls. Jobs decided that they could make money selling it. The clandestine sales of the illegal “blue boxes” went well, and perhaps planted the seed in Jobs’s mind that electronics could be fun and profitable.
Jobs began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Wozniak in 1975. He greatly admired Edwin H. Land, the inventor of instant photography and founder of Polaroid Corporation, and would explicitly model his own career after that of Land’s.
In 1976, Jobs and Wozniak formed their own business, which they named “Apple Computer Company” in remembrance of a happy summer Jobs had spent picking apples. At first they started off selling circuit boards.
Home of Paul and Clara Jobs, on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California. Steve Jobs formed Apple Computer in its garage with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976. Wayne stayed only a short time, leaving Jobs and Wozniak as the primary co-founders of the company.
Jobs and Steve Wozniak met in 1971, when their mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, introduced 21-year-old Wozniak to 16-year-old Jobs. In 1976, Wozniak single-handedly invented the Apple I computer. Wozniak showed it to Jobs, who suggested that they sell it. Jobs, Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded Apple computer in the garage of Jobs’s parents in order to sell it. They received funding from a then-semi-retired Intel product-marketing manager and engineer Mike Markkula.
In 1978, Apple recruited Mike Scott from National Semiconductor to serve as CEO for what turned out to be several turbulent years. In 1983, Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple’s CEO, asking, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC’s mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Apple Lisa. One year later, Apple employee Jef Raskin invented the Macintosh.
The following year, Apple aired a Super Bowl television commercial titled “1984”. At Apple’s annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984, an emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience; Andy Hertzfeld described the scene as “pandemonium”.
While Jobs was a persuasive and charismatic director for Apple, some of his employees from that time described him as an erratic and temperamental manager. Disappointing sales caused a deterioration in Jobs’s working relationship with Sculley and it eventually became a power struggle between Jobs and Sculley. Jobs kept meetings running past midnight, sent out lengthy faxes, then called new meetings at 7:00 am.
Sculley learned that Jobs—who believed Sculley to be “bad for Apple” and the wrong person to lead the company—had been attempting to organize a boardroom coup, and on May 24, 1985, called a board meeting to resolve the matter. Apple’s board of directors sided with Sculley and removed Jobs from his managerial duties as head of the Macintosh division. Jobs resigned from Apple five months later and founded NeXT Inc. the same year.
In a speech Jobs gave at Stanford University in 2005, he said being fired from Apple was the best thing that could have happened to him; “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” And he added, “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.”
After leaving Apple, Jobs founded NeXT Computer in 1985, with $7 million. A year later, Jobs was running out of money, and with no product on the horizon, he appealed for venture capital. Eventually, he attracted the attention of billionaire Ross Perot who invested heavily in the company. NeXT workstations were first released in 1990, priced at $9,999. Like the Apple Lisa, the NeXT workstation was technologically advanced, but was largely dismissed as cost-prohibitive by the educational sector for which it was designed. The NeXT workstation was known for its technical strengths, chief among them its object-oriented software development system. Jobs marketed NeXT products to the financial, scientific, and academic community, highlighting its innovative, experimental new technologies, such as the Mach kernel, the digital signal processor chip, and the built-in Ethernet port. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web on a NeXT computer at CERN.
The revised, second-generation NeXTcube was released in 1990, also. Jobs touted it as the first “interpersonal” computer that would replace the personal computer. With its innovative NeXTMail multimedia email system, NeXTcube could share voice, image, graphics, and video in email for the first time. “Interpersonal computing is going to revolutionize human communications and groupwork”, Jobs told reporters. Jobs ran NeXT with an obsession for aesthetic perfection, as evidenced by the development of and attention to NeXTcube’s magnesium case. This put considerable strain on NeXT’s hardware division, and in 1993, after having sold only 50,000 machines, NeXT transitioned fully to software development with the release of NeXTSTEP/Intel. The company reported its first profit of $1.03 million in 1994. In 1996, NeXT Software, Inc. released WebObjects, a framework for Web application development. After NeXT was acquired by Apple Inc. in 1997, WebObjects was used to build and run the Apple Store, MobileMe services, and the iTunes Store.
Pixar and Disney
In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division for the price of $10 million, $5 million of which was given to the company as capital.
The first film produced by the partnership, Toy Story (1995), with Jobs credited as executive producer, brought fame and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released. Over the next 15 years, under Pixar’s creative chief John Lasseter, the company produced box-office hits A Bug’s Life (1998); Toy Story 2 (1999); Monsters, Inc. (2001); Finding Nemo (2003); The Incredibles (2004); Cars (2006); Ratatouille (2007); WALL-E (2008); Up (2009); and Toy Story 3 (2010). Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3 each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001.
In the years 2003 and 2004, as Pixar’s contract with Disney was running out, Jobs and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner tried but failed to negotiate a new partnership, and in early 2004, Jobs announced that Pixar would seek a new partner to distribute its films after its contract with Disney expired.
In October 2005, Bob Iger replaced Eisner at Disney, and Iger quickly worked to patch up relations with Jobs and Pixar. On January 24, 2006, Jobs and Iger announced that Disney had agreed to purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. When the deal closed, Jobs became The Walt Disney Company’s largest single shareholder with approximately seven percent of the company’s stock. Jobs’s holdings in Disney far exceeded those of Eisner, who holds 1.7 percent, and of Disney family member Roy E. Disney, who until his 2009 death held about one percent of the company’s stock and whose criticisms of Eisner – especially that he soured Disney’s relationship with Pixar – accelerated Eisner’s ousting. Upon completion of the merger, Jobs received 7% of Disney shares, and joined the Board of Directors as the largest individual shareholder. Upon Jobs’s death his shares in Disney were transferred to the Steven P. Jobs Trust led by Laurene Jobs.
Return to Apple
In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $427 million. The deal was finalized in late 1996, bringing Jobs back to the company he co-founded. Jobs became de facto chief after then-CEO Gil Amelio was ousted in July 1997. He was formally named interim chief executive in September. In March 1998, to concentrate Apple’s efforts on returning to profitability, Jobs terminated a number of projects, such as Newton, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc. In the coming months, many employees developed a fear of encountering Jobs while riding in the elevator, “afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened. The reality was that Jobs’s summary executions were rare, but a handful of victims was enough to terrorize a whole company.” Jobs also changed the licensing program for Macintosh clones, making it too costly for the manufacturers to continue making machines.
With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company’s technology found its way into Apple products, most notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs’s guidance, the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products; since then, appealing designs and powerful branding have worked well for Apple. At the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the “interim” modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO. Jobs quipped at the time that he would be using the title “iCEO”.
The company subsequently branched out, introducing and improving upon other digital appliances. With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution. On June 29, 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, which also included the features of an iPod and, with its own mobile browser, revolutionized the mobile browsing scene. While stimulating innovation, Jobs also reminded his employees that “real artists ship”.
Jobs was both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the “reality distortion field” and was particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as “Stevenotes”) at Macworld Expos and at Apple Worldwide Developers Conferences. In 2005, Jobs responded to criticism of Apple’s poor recycling programs for e-waste in the US by lashing out at environmental and other advocates at Apple’s Annual Meeting in Cupertino in April. A few weeks later, Apple announced it would take back iPods for free at its retail stores. The Computer TakeBack Campaign responded by flying a banner from a plane over the Stanford University graduation at which Jobs was the commencement speaker. The banner read “Steve, don’t be a mini-player—recycle all e-waste”.
In 2006, he further expanded Apple’s recycling programs to any US customer who buys a new Mac. This program includes shipping and “environmentally friendly disposal” of their old systems.
In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple, but remained with the company as chairman of the company’s board. Hours after the announcement, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares dropped five percent in after-hours trading. This relatively small drop, when considering the importance of Jobs to Apple, was associated with the fact that his health had been in the news for several years, and he had been on medical leave since January 2011. It was believed, according to Forbes, that the impact would be felt in a negative way beyond Apple, including at The Walt Disney Company where Jobs served as director. In after-hours trading on the day of the announcement, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) shares dropped 1.5 percent.
Although Jobs earned only $1 a year as CEO of Apple, Jobs held 5.426 million Apple shares worth $2.1 billion, as well as 138 million shares in Disney (which he received in exchange for Disney’s acquisition of Pixar) worth $4.4 billion. Jobs quipped that the $1 per annum he was paid by Apple was based on attending one meeting for 50 cents while the other 50 cents was based on his performance. Forbes estimated his net wealth at $8.3 billion in 2010, making him the 42nd-wealthiest American.
Stock Options Backdating Issue
In 2001, Jobs was granted stock options in the amount of 7.5 million shares of Apple with an exercise price of $18.30. It was alleged that the options had been backdated, and that the exercise price should have been $21.10. It was further alleged that Jobs had thereby incurred taxable income of $20,000,000 that he did not report, and that Apple overstated its earnings by that same amount. As a result, Jobs potentially faced a number of criminal charges and civil penalties. The case was the subject of active criminal and civil government investigations, though an independent internal Apple investigation completed on December 29, 2006, found that Jobs was unaware of these issues and that the options granted to him were returned without being exercised in 2003.
On July 1, 2008, a $7-billion class action suit was filed against several members of the Apple Board of Directors for revenue lost due to the alleged securities fraud.
Jobs was a demanding perfectionist who always aspired to position his businesses and their products at the forefront of the information technology industry by foreseeing and setting trends, at least in innovation and style. He summed up that self-concept at the end of his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference and Expo in January 2007, by quoting ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky
There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.
Ever a stickler for quality, Jobs once famously quoted “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
Much was made of Jobs’s aggressive and demanding personality. Fortune wrote that he was “considered one of Silicon Valley’s leading egomaniacs”. Commentaries on his temperamental style can be found in Michael Moritz’s The Little Kingdom, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, by Alan Deutschman; and iCon: Steve Jobs, by Jeffrey S. Young & William L. Simon. In 1993, Jobs made Fortune’s list of America’s Toughest Bosses in regard to his leadership of NeXT.
NeXT Cofounder Dan’l Lewin was quoted in Fortune as saying of that period, “The highs were unbelievable … But the lows were unimaginable”, to which Jobs’s office replied that his personality had changed since then.
Apple CEO Tim Cook noted, “More so than any person I ever met in my life, had the ability to change his mind, much more so than anyone I’ve ever met… Maybe the most underappreciated thing about Steve was that he had the courage to change his mind.”
In 2005, Jobs banned all books published by John Wiley & Sons from Apple Stores in response to their publishing an unauthorized biography, iCon: Steve Jobs. In its 2010 annual earnings report, Wiley said it had “closed a deal … to make its titles available for the iPad.” Jef Raskin, a former colleague, once said that Jobs “would have made an excellent king of France”, alluding to Jobs’s compelling and larger-than-life persona. Floyd Norman said that at Pixar, Jobs was a “mature, mellow individual” and never interfered with the creative process of the filmmakers.
Jobs had a public war of words with Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell, starting in 1987 when Jobs first criticized Dell for making “un-innovative beige boxes”. On October 6, 1997, in a Gartner Symposium, when Michael Dell was asked what he would do if he ran then-troubled Apple Computer, he said “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” In 2006, Jobs sent an email to all employees when Apple’s market capitalization rose above Dell’s. The email read:
Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn’t perfect at predicting the future. Based on today’s stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve.
Reality Distortion Field
Apple’s Bud Tribble coined the term “reality distortion field” in 1981, to describe Jobs’s charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Macintosh project. Tribble claimed that the term came from Star Trek. Since then the term has also been used to refer to perceptions of Jobs’s keynote speeches.
The RDF was said by Andy Hertzfeld to be Steve Jobs’s ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything, using a mix of charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing, appeasement, and persistence. Although the subject of criticism, Jobs’s so-called reality distortion field was also recognized as creating a sense that the impossible was possible. By motivating the people around him to create innovative products, Jobs was in turn able to market them creatively to reach a wide audience. Once the term became widely known, it was often used in the technology press to describe Jobs’s sway over the public, particularly regarding new product announcements.
Inventions and Designs
Jobs’s design aesthetic was influenced by the modernist architectural style of Joseph Eichler, and the industrial designs of Braun’s Dieter Rams. His design sense was also greatly influenced by the Buddhism which he experienced in India while on a seven-month spiritual journey. His sense of intuition was also influenced by the spiritual people with whom he studied.
According to Apple cofounder, Steve Wozniak, “Steve didn’t ever code. He wasn’t an engineer and he didn’t do any original design…” Daniel Kottke, one of Apple’s earliest employees and a college friend of Jobs’, stated that “Between Woz and Jobs, Woz was the innovator, the inventor. Steve Jobs was the marketing person.”
He is listed as either primary inventor or co-inventor in 346 United States patents or patent applications related to a range of technologies from actual computer and portable devices to user interfaces (including touch-based), speakers, keyboards, power adapters, staircases, clasps, sleeves, lanyards and packages. Jobs’s contributions to most of his patents were to “the look and feel of the product”. His industrial design chief Sir Jonathan Ive had his name along with him for 200 of the patents. Most of these are design patents (specific product designs; for example, Jobs listed as primary inventor in patents for both original and lamp-style iMacs, as well as PowerBook G4 Titanium) as opposed to utility patents (inventions). He has 43 issued US patents on inventions. The patent on the Mac OS X Dock user interface with “magnification” feature was issued the day before he died. Although Jobs had little involvement in the engineering and technical side of the original Apple computers, Jobs later used his CEO position to directly involve himself with product design.
Even while terminally ill in the hospital, Jobs sketched new devices that would hold the iPad in a hospital bed. He also despised the oxygen monitor on his finger and suggested ways to revise the design for simplicity.
The Macintosh Computer
The Macintosh was introduced in January 1984. The computer had no “Mac” name on the front, but rather just the Apple logo. The Macintosh had a friendly appearance since it was meant to be easy to use. The disk drive is below the display, the Macintosh was taller, narrower, more symmetrical, and far more suggestive of a face. The Macintosh was identified as a computer that ordinary people could understand.
The NeXT Computer
After Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985, he started a company that built workstation computers. The NeXT Computer was introduced in 1989. Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the world’s first web browser on the NeXT Computer. The NeXT Computer was the basis for today’s Macintosh OS X and iPhone operating system (iOS).
Apple iMac was introduced in 1998 and its innovative design was directly the result of Jobs’s return to Apple. Apple boasted “the back of our computer looks better than the front of anyone else’s”. Described as “cartoonlike” the first iMac, clad in Bondi Blue plastic, was unlike any personal computer that came before. In 1999, Apple introduced the Graphite gray Apple iMac and since has varied the shape, colour and size considerably while maintaining the all-in-one design. Design ideas were intended to create a connection with the user such as the handle and a breathing light effect when the computer went to sleep. The Apple iMac sold for $1,299 at that time. There were some technical revolutions for iMac too. The USB ports being the only device inputs on the iMac. So the iMac’s success helped popularize the interface among third party peripheral makers, which is evidenced by the fact that many early USB peripherals were made of translucent plastic to match the iMac design.
The first generation of iPod was released October 23, 2001. The major innovation of the iPod was its small size achieved by using a 1.8″ hard drive compared to the 2.5″ drives common to players at that time. The capacity of the first generation iPod ranged from 5G to 10 Gigabytes. The iPod sold for US$399 and more than 100,000 iPods were sold before the end of 2001. The introduction of the iPod resulted in Apple becoming a major player in the music industry. Also, the iPod’s success prepared the way for the iTunes music store and the iPhone. After the 1st generation of iPod, Apple released the hard drive-based iPod classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, video-capable iPod Nano, screenless iPod Shuffle in the following years.
Apple began work on the first iPhone in 2005 and the first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. The iPhone created such a sensation that a survey indicated six out of ten Americans were aware of its release. Time magazine declared it “Invention of the Year” for 2007. The Apple iPhone is a small device with multimedia capabilities and functions as a quad-band touch screen smartphone. A year later, the iPhone 3G was released in July 2008 with the key feature was support for GPS, 3G data and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA. In June 2009, the iPhone 3GS, added voice control, a better camera, and a faster processor was introduced by Phil Schiller. iPhone 4 was thinner than previous models, had a five megapixel camera which can record videos in 720p HD, and added a secondary front facing camera for video calls. A major feature of the iPhone 4S, introduced in October 2011, was Siri, which is a virtual assistant that is capable of voice recognition.
Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek magazine stated that “Jobs isn’t widely known for his association with philanthropic causes”, compared to Bill Gates’s efforts. In contrast to Gates, Jobs did not sign the Giving Pledge of Warren Buffett which challenged the world’s richest billionaires to give at least half their wealth to charity. In an interview with Playboy in 1985, Jobs said in respect to money that “the challenges are to figure out how to live with it and to reinvest it back into the world which means either giving it away or using it to express your concerns or values.” Jobs also added that when he has some time we would start a public foundation but for now he does charitable acts privately.
After resuming control of Apple in 1997, Jobs eliminated all corporate philanthropy programs initially. Jobs’s friends told The New York Times that he felt that expanding Apple would have done more good than giving money to charity. Later, under Jobs, Apple signed to participate in Product Red program, producing red versions of devices to give profits from sales to charity. Apple has gone on to become the largest contributor to the charity since its initial involvement with it. The chief of the Product Red project, singer Bono cited Jobs saying there was “nothing better than the chance to save lives”, when he initially approached Apple with the invitation to participate in the program. Through its sales, Apple has been the largest contributor to Product Red’s gift to the Global Fund, which fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, according to Bono.
Jobs’s birth parents met at the University of Wisconsin. Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, from Syria, taught there. Joanne Carole Schieble was his student; they were the same age because Jandali had “gotten his PhD really young.” Schieble had a career as a speech language pathologist. Jandali taught political science at the University of Nevada in the 1960s, and then made his career in the food and beverage industry, and since 2006, has been a vice president at a casino in Reno, Nevada. In December 1955, ten months after giving up their baby boy, Schieble and Jandali married. In 1957 they had a daughter, Mona. They divorced in 1962, and Jandali lost touch with his daughter. Her mother remarried and had Mona take the surname of her stepfather, so she became known as Mona Simpson.
In the 1980s, Jobs found his birth mother, Joanne Schieble Simpson, who told him he had a biological sister, Mona Simpson. They met for the first time in 1985 and became close friends. The siblings kept their relationship secret until 1986, when Mona introduced him at a party for her first book.
After deciding to search for their father, Simpson found Jandali managing a coffee shop. Without knowing who his son had become, Jandali told Mona that he had previously managed a popular restaurant in the Silicon Valley where “Even Steve Jobs used to eat there. Yeah, he was a great tipper.” In a taped interview with his biographer Walter Isaacson, aired on 60 Minutes, Jobs said: “When I was looking for my biological mother, obviously, you know, I was looking for my biological father at the same time, and I learned a little bit about him and I didn’t like what I learned. I asked her to not tell him that we ever met…not tell him anything about me.” Jobs was in occasional touch with his mother Joanne Simpson, who lives in a nursing home in Los Angeles. When speaking about his biological parents, Jobs stated: “They were my sperm and egg bank. That’s not harsh, it’s just the way it was, a sperm bank thing, nothing more.” Jandali stated in an interview with the The Sun in August 2011, that his efforts to contact Jobs were unsuccessful. Jandali mailed in his medical history after Jobs’s pancreatic disorder was made public that year.
In her eulogy to Jobs at his memorial service, Mona Simpson stated:
I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us. Later, after I’d met my father, I tried to believe he’d changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people. Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.
Jobs’s first child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, was born in 1978, the daughter of his longtime partner Chris Ann Brennan, a Bay Area painter. For two years, she raised their daughter on welfare while Jobs denied paternity by claiming he was sterile; he later acknowledged Lisa as his daughter. Jobs later married Laurene Powell on March 18, 1991, in a ceremony at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. Presiding over the wedding was Kobun Chino Otogawa, a Zen Buddhist monk. Their son, Reed, was born September 1991, followed by daughters Erin in August 1995, and Eve in 1998. The family lives in Palo Alto, California.
Jobs once dated Joan Baez for a few years. Elizabeth Holmes, a friend of Jobs from his time at Reed College, believed that Jobs was interested in Baez because she had been the lover of Bob Dylan” (Dylan was the Apple icon’s favorite musician). Jobs confided in Joanna Hoffman his concerns about the relationship. She would later tell his official biographer “She was a strong woman, and he wanted to show he was in control. Plus, he always said he wanted to have a family, and with her he knew that he wouldn’t.
Jobs was also a fan of The Beatles. He referred to them on multiple occasions at Keynotes and also was interviewed on a showing of a Paul McCartney concert. When asked about his business model on 60 Minutes, he replied:
My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.
In 1982, Jobs bought an apartment in The San Remo, an apartment building in New York City with a politically progressive reputation, where Demi Moore, Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of Rita Hayworth, also had apartments. With the help of I. M. Pei, Jobs spent years renovating his apartment in the top two floors of the building’s north tower, only to sell it almost two decades later to U2 singer Bono. Jobs never moved in.
In 1984, Jobs purchased the Jackling House, a 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2), 14-bedroom Spanish Colonial mansion designed by George Washington Smith in Woodside, California. Although it reportedly remained in an almost unfurnished state, Jobs lived in the mansion for almost ten years. According to reports, he kept a 1966 BMW R60/2 motorcycle in the living room, and let Bill Clinton use it in 1998. From the early 1990s, Jobs lived in a house in the Old Palo Alto neighborhood of Palo Alto. President Clinton dined with Jobs and 14 Silicon Valley CEOs there on August 7, 1996, at a meal catered by Greens Restaurant. Clinton returned the favor and Jobs, who was a Democratic donor, slept in the Lincoln bedroom of the White House.
Jobs allowed Jackling House to fall into a state of disrepair, planning to demolish the house and build a smaller home on the property; but he met with complaints from local preservationists over his plans. In June 2004, the Woodside Town Council gave Jobs approval to demolish the mansion, on the condition that he advertise the property for a year to see if someone would move it to another location and restore it. A number of people expressed interest, including several with experience in restoring old property, but no agreements to that effect were reached. Later that same year, a local preservationist group began seeking legal action to prevent demolition. In January 2007, Jobs was denied the right to demolish the property, by a court decision. The court decision was overturned on appeal in March 2010, and the mansion was demolished beginning in February 2011.
Jobs usually wore a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck made by Issey Miyake (that was sometimes reported to be made by St. Croix), Levi’s 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers. Jobs told Walter Isaacson “…he came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style.” He was a pescetarian.
Jobs’s car was a silver Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG, which did not display its license plates, as he took advantage of a California law which gives a maximum of six months for new vehicles to receive plates; Jobs leased a new SL every six months. Jobs involved himself with the details of designing his 78-metre luxury yacht Venus (named after the deity) to keep thoughts of death at bay. It is also designed by Philippe Starck, who claims insufficient payment.
In a 2011 interview with biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs revealed at one point he met with U.S. President Barack Obama, complained of the nation’s shortage of software engineers, and told Obama that he was “headed for a one-term presidency.” Jobs proposed that any foreign student who got an engineering degree at a U.S. university should automatically be offered a green card. After the meeting, Jobs commented, “The president is very smart, but he kept explaining to us reasons why things can’t get done…. It infuriates me.”
Jobs contributed to a number of political candidates and causes during his life, giving $209,000 to Democrats, $45,700 to associated special interests and $1,000 to a Republican.
In October 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer, and in mid-2004, he announced to his employees that he had a cancerous tumor in his pancreas. The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is usually very poor; Jobs stated that he had a rare, far less aggressive type known as islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. Despite his diagnosis, Jobs resisted his doctors’ recommendations for mainstream medical intervention for nine months, instead consuming a special alternative medicine diet in an attempt to thwart the disease. According to Harvard researcher Ramzi Amri, his choice of alternative treatment “led to an unnecessarily early death.” According to Jobs’s biographer, Walter Isaacson, “for nine months he refused to undergo surgery for his pancreatic cancer – a decision he later regretted as his health declined.” “Instead, he tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments he found online, and even consulted a psychic. He also was influenced by a doctor who ran a clinic that advised juice fasts, bowel cleansings and other unproven approaches, before finally having surgery in July 2004.” He eventually underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy (or “Whipple procedure”) in July 2004, that appeared to successfully remove the tumor. Jobs apparently did not receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy. During Jobs’s absence, Tim Cook, head of worldwide sales and operations at Apple, ran the company.
In early August 2006, Jobs delivered the keynote for Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. His “thin, almost gaunt” appearance and unusually “listless” delivery, together with his choice to delegate significant portions of his keynote to other presenters, inspired a flurry of media and Internet speculation about his health. In contrast, according to an Ars Technica journal report, Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) attendees who saw Jobs in person said he “looked fine”. Following the keynote, an Apple spokesperson said that “Steve’s health is robust.”
Two years later, similar concerns followed Jobs’s 2008 WWDC keynote address. Apple officials stated Jobs was victim to a “common bug” and was taking antibiotics, while others surmised his cachectic appearance was due to the Whipple procedure. During a July conference call discussing Apple earnings, participants responded to repeated questions about Jobs’s health by insisting that it was a “private matter”. Others, however, voiced the opinion that shareholders had a right to know more, given Jobs’s hands-on approach to running his company. The New York Times published an article based on an off-the-record phone conversation with Jobs, noting that “While his health problems amounted to a good deal more than ‘a common bug’, they weren’t life-threatening and he doesn’t have a recurrence of cancer.”
On August 28, 2008, Bloomberg mistakenly published a 2500-word obituary of Jobs in its corporate news service, containing blank spaces for his age and cause of death. (News carriers customarily stockpile up-to-date obituaries to facilitate news delivery in the event of a well-known figure’s death.) Although the error was promptly rectified, many news carriers and blogs reported on it, intensifying rumors concerning Jobs’s health. Jobs responded at Apple’s September 2008 Let’s Rock keynote by essentially quoting Mark Twain: “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” At a subsequent media event, Jobs concluded his presentation with a slide reading “110/70”, referring to his blood pressure, stating he would not address further questions about his health.
On December 16, 2008, Apple announced that marketing vice-president Phil Schiller would deliver the company’s final keynote address at the Macworld Conference and Expo 2009, again reviving questions about Jobs’s health. In a statement given on January 5, 2009, on Apple.com, Jobs said that he had been suffering from a “hormone imbalance” for several months.
On January 14, 2009, in an internal Apple memo, Jobs wrote that in the previous week he had “learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought”, and announced a six-month leave of absence until the end of June 2009, to allow him to better focus on his health. Tim Cook, who previously acted as CEO in Jobs’s 2004 absence, became acting CEO of Apple, with Jobs still involved with “major strategic decisions.”
In April 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee. Jobs’s prognosis was described as “excellent”.
On January 17, 2011, a year and a half after Jobs returned from his liver transplant, Apple announced that he had been granted a medical leave of absence. Jobs announced his leave in a letter to employees, stating his decision was made “so he could focus on his health”. As during his 2009 medical leave, Apple announced that Tim Cook would run day-to-day operations and that Jobs would continue to be involved in major strategic decisions at the company. Despite the leave, he made appearances at the iPad 2 launch event (March 2), the WWDC keynote introducing iCloud (June 6), and before the Cupertino city council (June 7).
Jobs announced his resignation as Apple’s CEO on August 24, 2011, writing to the board, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” Jobs became chairman of the board thereafter, naming Tim Cook his successor as CEO, and continued to work for Apple until the day before his death six weeks later.
Jobs died at his California home around 3 pm on October 5, 2011, due to complications from a relapse of his previously treated islet-cell neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer, resulting in respiratory arrest. He had lost consciousness the day before, and died with his wife, children and sister at his side.
Both Apple and Microsoft flew their flags at half-staff throughout their respective headquarters and campuses. Bob Iger ordered all Disney properties, including Walt Disney World and Disneyland, to fly their flags at half-staff, from October 6 to 12, 2011.
His death was announced by Apple in a statement which read:
We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.
Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.
For two weeks following his death, Apple’s corporate Web site displayed a simple page, showing Jobs’s name and lifespan next to his grayscale portrait. Clicking on the image led to an obituary, which read:
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
An email address was also posted for the public to share their memories, condolences, and thoughts. Over a million tributes were sent, which are now displayed on the Steve Jobs memorial page.
Also dedicating its homepage to Jobs was Pixar, with a photo of Jobs, John Lasseter and Edwin Catmull, and the eulogy they wrote:
Steve was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend, and our guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to ‘make it great.’ He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity, and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be part of Pixar’s DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time.
A small private funeral was held on October 7, 2011, of which details were not revealed out of respect to Jobs’s family. Apple announced on the same day that they had no plans for a public service, but were encouraging “well-wishers” to send their remembrance messages to an email address created to receive such messages. Sunday, October 16, 2011, was declared “Steve Jobs Day” by Governor Jerry Brown of California. On that day, an invitation-only memorial was held at Stanford University. Those in attendance included Apple and other tech company executives, members of the media, celebrities, close friends of Jobs, and politicians, along with Jobs’s family. Bono, Yo Yo Ma, and Joan Baez performed at the service, which lasted longer than an hour. The service was highly secured, with guards at all of the university’s gates, and a helicopter flying overhead from an area news station.
A private memorial service for Apple employees was held on October 19, 2011, on the Apple Campus in Cupertino. Present were Cook, Bill Campbell, Norah Jones, Al Gore, and Coldplay, and Jobs’s widow, Laurene, was in attendance. Some of Apple’s retail stores closed briefly so employees could attend the memorial. A video of the service is available on Apple’s website.
Jobs is buried in an unmarked grave at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, the only non-denominational cemetery in Palo Alto. He is survived by Laurene, his wife of 20 years, their three children, and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter from a previous relationship. His family released a statement saying that he “died peacefully”. He “looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them”; his last words, spoken hours before his death, were:
“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
Steve Jobs’s death broke news headlines on ABC, CBS, and NBC. Numerous newspapers around the world carried news of his death on their front pages the next day. Several notable people, including US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and The Walt Disney Company’s Bob Iger commented on the death of Jobs. Wired News collected reactions and posted them in tribute on their homepage. Other statements of condolence were made by many of Jobs’s friends and colleagues, such as Steve Wozniak and George Lucas. After Steve Jobs’s death, Adult Swim aired a 15-second segment with the words “hello” in a script font fading in and then changing into “goodbye”.
Major media published commemorative works. Time published a commemorative issue for Jobs on October 8, 2011. The issue’s cover featured a portrait of Jobs, taken by Norman Seeff, in which he is sitting in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh computer, first published in Rolling Stone in January 1984. The issue marked the eighth time Jobs was featured on the cover of Time. The issue included a photographic essay by Diana Walker, a retrospective on Apple by Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, and a six-page essay by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson’s essay served as a preview of his biography, Steve Jobs.
Bloomberg Businessweek also published a commemorative, ad-free issue, featuring extensive essays by Steve Jurvetson, John Sculley, Sean Wisely, William Gibson, and Walter Isaacson. On its cover, Steve Jobs is pictured in gray scale, along with his name and lifespan.
At the time of his resignation, and again after his death, Jobs was widely described as a visionary, pioneer and genius—perhaps one of the foremost—in the field of business, innovation, and product design, and a man who had profoundly changed the face of the modern world, revolutionized at least six different industries, and who was an “exemplar for all chief executives”. His death was widely mourned and considered a loss to the world by commentators across the globe.
After his resignation as Apple’s CEO, Jobs was characterized as the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of his time. In his The Daily Show eulogy, Jon Stewart said that unlike others of Jobs’s ilk, such as Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, Jobs died young. He felt that we had, in a sense, “wrung everything out of” these other men, but his feeling on Jobs was that “we’re not done with you yet.” Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker asserted that “Jobs’s sensibility was editorial, not inventive. His gift lay in taking what was in front of him … and ruthlessly refining it.”
There was also a dissenting tone in some coverage of Jobs’ life and works in the media, where attention focused on his near-fanatical control mindset and business ruthlessness. A Los Angeles Times media critic reported that the eulogies “came courtesy of reporters who—after deadline and off the record—would tell stories about a company obsessed with secrecy to the point of paranoia. They remind us how Apple shut down a youthful fanboy blogger, punished a publisher that dared to print an unauthorized Jobs biography and repeatedly ran afoul of the most basic tenets of a free press.” Free software pioneer Richard Stallman drew attention to Apple’s strategy of tight corporate control over consumer computers and handheld devices, how Apple restricted news reporters, and persistently violated privacy: “Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died”. Silicon Valley reporter Dan Gillmor stated that under Jobs, Apple had taken stances that in his view were “outright hostile to the practice of journalism” – these included suing three “small fry” bloggers who reported tips about the company and its unreleased products including attempts to use the courts to force them to reveal their sources, suing teenager Nicholas Ciarelli, who wrote enthusiastic speculation about Apple products beginning at age 13 (Rainey wrote that Apple wanted to kill his ‘ThinkSecret’ blog as “It thought any leaks, even favorable ones, diluted the punch of its highly choreographed product launches with Jobs, in his iconic jeans and mock turtleneck outfit, as the star.”).
Some have compared Steve Jobs and Dennis Ritchie who died a week later, and the respective media coverage of their deaths.
Honors and Public Recognition
- After Apple’s founding, Jobs became a symbol of his company and industry. When Time named the computer as the 1982 “Machine of the Year”, the magazine published a long profile of Jobs as “the most famous maestro of the micro”.
- Jobs was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, with Steve Wozniak (among the first people to ever receive the honor), and a Jefferson Award for Public Service in the category “Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under” (also known as the Samuel S. Beard Award) in 1987. On November 27, 2007, Jobs was named the most powerful person in business by Fortune magazine. On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Jobs into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.
- In August 2009, Jobs was selected as the most admired entrepreneur among teenagers in a survey by Junior Achievement, having previously been named Entrepreneur of the Decade 20 years earlier in 1989, by Inc. magazine. On November 5, 2009, Jobs was named the CEO of the decade by Fortune magazine.
- In November 2010, Jobs was ranked No.17 on Forbes: The World’s Most Powerful People. In December 2010, the Financial Times named Jobs its person of the year for 2010, ending its essay by stating, “In his autobiography, John Sculley, the former PepsiCo executive who once ran Apple, said this of the ambitions of the man he had pushed out: ‘Apple was supposed to become a wonderful consumer products company. This was a lunatic plan. High-tech could not be designed and sold as a consumer product.'”. The Financial Times closed by rhetorically asking of this quote, “How wrong can you be.”
- On December 21, 2011, Graphisoft company in Budapest presented the world’s first bronze statue of Steve Jobs, calling him one of the greatest personalities of the modern age.
- In January 2012, when young adults (ages 16 – 25) were asked to identify the greatest innovator of all time, Steve Jobs placed second behind Thomas Edison.
- On February 12, 2012, Jobs was posthumously awarded the Grammy Trustees Award, an award for those who have influenced the music industry in areas unrelated to performance.
- In March 2012, global business magazine Fortune named Steve Jobs the “greatest entrepreneur of our time”, describing him as “brilliant, visionary, inspiring”, and “the quintessential entrepreneur of our generation”.
- Two films, Disney’s John Carter and Pixar’s Brave, are dedicated to Jobs.
- On October 5, 2012, Apple.com’s homepage was changed to a video tribute to Jobs, because it was the first anniversary of his death, and it showed pictures with audio from some of his greatest keynotes. When the video ended, it showed a note from Tim Cook about the matter.