Born: February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California
Died: October 5, 2011 in Palo Alto, California
Best known for: Co-founding Apple Computers
Where did Steve Jobs grow up?
Steve Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco, California on February 24, 1955. His birth parents gave him up for adoption and he was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. Paul was a machinist and Clara an accountant. When Steve was five, the family moved to Mountain View, California where Steve went to school and grew up.
One of Steve's favorite hobbies growing up was working with electronics in his garage with his dad. They would take apart electronics like radios and then put them back together. Steve was a smart student, but got bored with school. He often played pranks on others, getting into trouble. When he was thirteen, Jobs met eighteen-year-old Steve Wozniak. Wozniak was also into electronics and the two boys became friends.
After graduating from high school, Jobs attended Reed College in Oregon. However, he found the classes boring and soon dropped out, taking a job with video game maker Atari. Jobs became more and more interested in philosophy. He quit his job and took a trip to India to find "enlightenment." He spent seven months traveling around India and studying the religion of Zen Buddhism. Upon his return to California, he went back to work for Atari.
Jobs began hanging out with Steve Wozniak again and the two of them were very interested in computers. Wozniak wanted his own personal computer and, being the electronics genius he was, he invented his own computer. Jobs was impressed. He said they should start their own company selling the computer and Wozniak agreed. In 1976, they formed the company Apple Computer and called their first computer the Apple I. They began making the computers in Jobs' garage. Jobs was just 21 years old at the time.
Wozniak then started working on the next version called the Apple II. Jobs could tell that this was going to be a great product. He sold the idea to some investors convincing them to invest in the company. The Apple II was a great success. The company quickly grew and went public just four years after it started in 1980.
Out of Apple
The next two personal computers from Apple, the Apple III and the Lisa, were not very successful. Jobs put all his efforts into the development of the Macintosh. The Macintosh was introduced with much fanfare during the Super Bowl. It was a huge success.
However, Apple was coming under increasing pressure from the PC designed by IBM. The PC was an open concept which could be cloned and made by multiple companies. The PC was much cheaper than the Macintosh and Apple sales began to decline. Jobs took the blame and resigned from Apple in 1985.
Always wanting to create that next great product, Jobs started a new company called NeXT Computer. The first products from NeXT were high-end personal computers. They were technically great, but too expensive for the average person and NeXT began to lose money. Jobs then turned NeXT into a software company and it began to have some success.
In 1986, Jobs purchased a graphics company for $10 million. He changed the name of the company to Pixar. At first the company sold 3D graphics software, but in 1991 they received a contract from Disney to create a full length film. Their first film was Toy Story which was a huge success. Pixar went on to make films such as Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Cars, WALL-E, and Up. Jobs actually made more money with Pixar than he did during his first stint with Apple.
Back to Apple
In 1997, Apple ended up purchasing NeXT from Jobs. He then returned to the company as the CEO. Apple was struggling at the time and needed some new ideas. With Jobs at the helm, Apple began to branch out into new products. They introduced the iPod music player and iTunes music software. Both were a huge success and gave Apple a new image of being on the cutting edge of consumer electronics. In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone which changed the way phones were used and took the mobile phone market by storm. Jobs became a celebrity and was considered by many to be one of the great innovators of the 2000s.
Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011 from pancreatic cancer. He had fought cancer for several years since first being diagnosed in 2003.
Interesting Facts about Steve Jobs
Jobs got the name for Apple Computers after spending some time at an apple orchard.
The movie Brave from Disney Pixar was dedicated to Steve Jobs.
Ashton Kutcher played the lead role in the 2013 film Jobs.
He had four children including three daughters and a son.
In 2013, Apple sold more than 350,000 iPhones a day.
Fortune magazine named him as the "greatest entrepreneur of our time."