Steve Jobs Biography: The Visionary Behind Apple

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was one of the most influential and innovative entrepreneurs of the 20th and 21st centuries. He was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc., the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company’s board of directors, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. He revolutionized the fields of personal computing, animation, music, mobile phones, tablets, and digital publishing. He was also known for his charismatic leadership, his creative genius, and his unconventional lifestyle. In this article, we will explore the life and work of Steve Jobs, from his birth to his death.

Early Life and Education

Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California. His biological parents were Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, a working-class couple from Mountain View, California. He grew up with one adopted sister, Mona Simpson.

Jobs was interested in electronics and engineering from an early age. He was influenced by his father, who taught him how to work with tools and machines. He also befriended many engineers and hobbyists in his neighborhood. He attended Cupertino Junior High School and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. There he met Steve Wozniak, a fellow electronics enthusiast who would later become his business partner.

Jobs dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, after one semester in 1972. He then traveled to India with a friend to seek spiritual enlightenment. He also experimented with psychedelic drugs and became a follower of Zen Buddhism. He returned to California in 1974 and took a job at Atari Corporation as a video game designer.

Founding of Apple

In 1976, Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple Computer with the help of Ronald Wayne, a former colleague of Jobs at Atari. They started the company in the garage of Jobs’s parents’ house with the money they earned by selling Jobs’s Volkswagen minibus and Wozniak’s programmable calculator. Their first product was the Apple I, a simple computer circuit board that they sold to hobbyists and enthusiasts.

The Apple I was followed by the Apple II in 1977, one of the first highly successful mass-produced personal computers. The Apple II featured a color display, a keyboard, a floppy disk drive, and a user-friendly interface. It was popular among home users, schools, and businesses. It also launched the personal computer industry and made Apple a leader in the field.

In 1980, Apple went public and became one of the most valuable companies in the world. Jobs became a millionaire at the age of 25. He also became more involved in the design and development of new products. He was inspired by the Xerox Alto, a computer that had a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse. He led the creation of the Apple Lisa in 1983, which was the first commercial computer with a GUI. However, the Lisa was too expensive and failed to sell well.

Jobs then focused on another project, the Macintosh, which was launched in 1984. The Macintosh was a smaller, cheaper, and more user-friendly computer than the Lisa. It also introduced features such as icons, windows, menus, and fonts. It was marketed with a famous television commercial directed by Ridley Scott, which aired during the Super Bowl XVIII. The commercial depicted the Macintosh as a symbol of freedom and rebellion against the tyranny of IBM, the dominant computer company at the time.

The Macintosh was initially successful, but soon faced competition from cheaper and faster IBM-compatible computers. Jobs also clashed with John Sculley, the CEO of Apple who had been hired by Jobs in 1983. Sculley disagreed with Jobs’s vision and management style, and eventually ousted him from the company in 1985.

NeXT and Pixar

After leaving Apple, Jobs founded NeXT Computer, a company that specialized in computers for higher-education and business markets. NeXT computers were advanced and elegant, but also expensive and incompatible with other systems. They failed to attract many customers, but they were influential in the development of software and web technologies. One of them was used by Tim Berners-Lee to create the World Wide Web in 1990.

Jobs also invested in Pixar Animation Studios, a computer graphics division of Lucasfilm that he bought from George Lucas in 1986. Pixar produced some of the first computer-animated short films and commercials, such as Luxo Jr. and Tin Toy. In 1995, Pixar released its first feature film, Toy Story, which was a huge success and became the highest-grossing film of the year. Toy Story was followed by other acclaimed and popular films, such as A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Cars.

In 1996, Apple bought NeXT for $429 million, and Jobs returned to Apple as an adviser. He soon became the interim CEO and then the permanent CEO of the company. He brought with him some of the NeXT technologies and employees, such as Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple products.

Return to Apple

Jobs revitalized Apple with a series of innovative and stylish products that captured the imagination and loyalty of consumers. He also restructured the company and streamlined its operations.

In 1997, he introduced the iMac, a colorful and sleek desktop computer that integrated the monitor and the CPU in one unit. The iMac was a hit among home users and helped to boost Apple’s sales and image.

In 1998, he launched the iBook, a portable and wireless laptop computer that complemented the iMac.

In 2001, he unveiled the iPod, a portable digital music player that revolutionized the music industry. The iPod was compatible with iTunes, a software application that allowed users to buy, download, organize, and play music and videos on their computers and devices.

In 2003, he launched the iTunes Store, an online store that sold music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks. The iTunes Store became the largest online music retailer in the world and a major source of revenue for Apple.

In 2007, he introduced the iPhone, a smartphone that combined a phone, a music player, a camera, an Internet browser, and a touch-screen interface. The iPhone was a breakthrough in mobile technology and created a new market for applications and services.

In 2010, he launched the iPad, a tablet computer that offered a larger screen and more functionality than the iPhone. The iPad was a success in both consumer and business markets and spawned a new category of devices.

Death and Legacy

Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003. He underwent surgery and various treatments, but his health deteriorated over time. He took several medical leaves of absence from Apple and delegated his responsibilities to other executives. He resigned as CEO in August 2011 and became chairman of the board. He died on October 5, 2011, at his home in Palo Alto, California. He was 56 years old.

Jobs was widely mourned and celebrated as one of the greatest innovators and visionaries of his generation. He was praised for his creativity, his passion, and his impact on various industries and fields. He was also criticized for his arrogance, his temper, and his disregard for some ethical and social issues. He received many honors and awards, such as the National Medal of Technology, the Jefferson Award, the Grammy Trustees Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (posthumously).

Jobs’s life and work have been the subject of many books, documentaries, films, and exhibitions. Some of them include Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine by Alex Gibney, Steve Jobs by Danny Boyle, and Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview by Robert Cringely.


Steve Jobs was an American entrepreneur who co-founded Apple Inc., Pixar Animation Studios, and NeXT Computer. He was the driving force behind many revolutionary products, such as the Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. He was also known for his charismatic leadership, his creative genius, and his unconventional lifestyle. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 at the age of 56. He is regarded as one of the most influential figures in modern history.

Here is a table that summarizes some of the information about Steve Jobs:

NameSteve Jobs
Date of BirthFebruary 24, 1955
Place of BirthSan Francisco, California, U.S.
EthnicityMixed (Syrian-German)
ReligionZen Buddhism
Height6 feet 2 inches
Hair ColorBlack (graying)
Eye ColorBrown
EducationReed College (dropped out)
OccupationEntrepreneur, inventor, designer
CompaniesApple Inc., Pixar Animation Studios, NeXT Computer
ProductsApple I, Apple II, Macintosh, Lisa, iPod, iPhone, iPad
AwardsNational Medal of Technology (1985), Jefferson Award (1987), Grammy Trustees Award (2012), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2022)
FamilyLaurene Powell (wife), Lisa Brennan-Jobs (daughter), Reed Jobs (son), Erin Jobs (daughter), Eve Jobs (daughter), Mona Simpson (sister)
ResidencePalo Alto, California

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