Steve Jobs (1955 – 2012)

March 22, 2022

Steve Jobs was an entrepreneur, inventor, and innovator known largely as the face of Apple Computers. His trademark black turtleneck shirts were synonymous with the announcement of exciting new products from his world-famous company.

Early Life

Steven Paul Jobs, born February 24, 1955, to two graduate students from the University of Wisconsin. Clara and Paul Jobs, who lived in Mountain View, California, adopted him.

From early on, Jobs showed signs of innovation and intelligence. In school, he was often bored and sometimes got into trouble by pulling pranks. His test scores led to his teachers and administrators suggesting that he skip grades in school, but his parents refused the offer. His father encouraged him to spend time doing one of his favorite hobbies: taking apart and reassembling electronics.

Jobs briefly attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but dropped out after six months. Although he had stopped attending official classes, he spent the next year and a half sitting in on creative classes at the college.

Work and Career

Jobs began working as a game designer for Atari in 1974 but only worked for a few months before focusing on spirituality in India. When he returned, he reunited with an acquaintance from high school, who was still attending college at the University of California, Berkeley—Steve Wozniak.

The two bonded over electronics and particularly computers. The two founded Apple Computer in 1976, working out of Jobs’ family garage. Together, they hugely impacted the popularization of personal computers—changing their accessibility and appeal from strictly being used for large businesses to something the average person could enjoy.

The company saw great success, and by 1980 it was a publicly traded business that was valued at $1.2 billion. The success was eventually tempered, and Jobs found himself blamed for its struggles, so he left the company in 1985.

Over the next decade, Jobs worked for other tech-based companies such as NeXT and Pixar. As the controlling interest holder at Pixar, Jobs first became a billionaire due to the success of the movie Toy Story.

Apple Part Two

Jobs came back as CEO to Apple in 1997 and brought with him new ideas to bring the company to new levels. In the years that followed, Jobs pushed new products that soon became some of the most sought-after technology for the next decades: the MacBook Air, the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. The company also found great success through the launch of iTunes, which sold music, TV shows, and movies that could be loaded and played on the new devices.

Final Battle

Jobs was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor in 2003 and an inoperable form of pancreatic cancer. Despite delaying treatment, the pancreatic tumor was removed, and he was later forced to have a liver transplant.

Finally, in 2011 Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple, naming Tim Cook as his replacement. He succumbed to his long battle with pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011.

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