1. Steve Jobs: Introduction
  2. Steve Jobs: Early Life and Education
  3. Steve Jobs: Success Story
  4. Steve Jobs: Net Worth
  5. Steve Jobs: Famous or Infamous
  6. Steve Jobs: Most Influential Quotes

Humble Beginnings

Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Carole Schieble, a student from Wisconsin. She had met Jobs’ biological father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali while the two were studying together at university. But Jandali’s family disapproved of the union, so Schieble put her child up for adoption.

After her first choice for an adoptive family fell through, infant Steve Jobs went to live with Paul and Clara Jobs, a working-class couple who lived in San Francisco's Sunset District. Schieble didn’t like the idea of her son being raised by two uneducated people, and only agreed to the adoption after they promised the baby would go on to attend college. (Related: Steve Jobs' Iconic Black Turtleneck Now for Sale)

A Gifted Child

When Jobs was two, he was joined by an adopted sister, Patricia. Seeking more space for their growing family, the Jobs family moved to Mountain View, California in 1961. In a bigger house, Paul Jobs returned to his hobby of rebuilding cars, constructing a workbench for his son. Young Steve jobs would help his father rebuild cars as well as with a wide range of household building and repair projects. These projects would serve as a background for Jobs’ early interest in electronics, one he shared with the many engineers who lived in his new neighborhood.

But outside of the engineer neighbors, Jobs had a hard time making friends. Having learned to read as a toddler, school was tedious, and he often ran into disciplinary and academic problems. Although he was in the advanced programs in Mountain View, his parents drained their savings when Jobs was 12 to move to Los Altos, California, so he could go to school in the far superior Cupertino school district. 

His education in Cupertino accelerated in more ways than one, as his new home was situated in a neighborhood even more saturated with engineers. At a young age, Jobs’ interest in electronics turned a few heads. When he was 13, Bill Hewlett of Hewlett Packard offered Jobs a summer job assembling frequency counters.

The Two Steves Meet

The next fall, Jobs began studying at Homestead High School, where he would meet Steve Wozniak, the school’s resident electronics whiz. It was also while at Homestead that Jobs developed his lifelong identification with the counterculture that was redefining America during the late 1960s. He grew his hair long and became interested in music, literature and religion, especially Eastern religions.

Jobs was 16 when Wozniak, who was older, began classes at the University of California, Berkeley, where Jobs would often go visit his friend. At the same time, he was taking English classes at Stanford and working on an underground film project.

Working for Atari

In 1972, Steve Wozniak built a circuit board with his own version of the video game Pong, which he gave to Jobs. With the board as his resume, Jobs convinced Atari, Inc. to give him a job as a technician, after which he left off his studies at Reed College in Oregon.

After leaving Atari and spending seven months visiting ashrams and other holy sites in India in 1972, Jobs drifted, eventually returning to Atari, where he worked with Wozniak on the circuit board design. At the same time, Wozniak was also working on what he called a "blue box" which would emit the right tones to trick telephone networks into giving users free long-distance calls. The illegal boxes were the pair’s first foray into selling consumer electronics.

The Apple I

Wozniak, an inveterate tinkerer and inventor, completed his Apple I computer in 1976. Jobs, seeing it for the first time, immediately suggested that they try to sell it. The two men, along with mutual friend Ronald Wayne, formed Apple Computer in the garage of Jobs' home in Los Altos, California. (For more, see: From Beads To Binary: The History Of Computing.)

The early computers were a far cry from the sleek, immaculate Apple machines we know today. One neighbor at the time describes the Apple I as “a circuit board with a chip on it, a DuMont TV set, a Panasonic cassette tape deck and a keyboard.”

Wayne soon left the Apple, and Daniel Kottke, Jobs' friend from Reed College and his adventures in India, joined the company. With a product and a vision, the three were ready to begin production.

All they needed was seed capital, so they spent hours in Jobs's kitchen, phoning potential investors. They received their initial round of funding from Mike Markkula, a semi-retired Intel Corp (Nasdaq: INTC) product marketing manager and engineer.


Steve Jobs: Success Story
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