Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs at WWDC (2010)Steve Jobs signature.svg

Steven "Steve" Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955 in San Francisco , California - †  October 5, 2011 in Palo Alto , California) was an American entrepreneur . As the co-founder and long-time CEO of Apple Inc. , he is considered one of the most well-known personalities in the computer industry .

Together with Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne , he founded Apple in 1976 and helped popularize both the concept of the home computer and later the generation of smartphones and tablet computers . In addition, with the Macintosh , he was instrumental in the introduction of personal computers with graphical user interfaces from 1984 onwards , and with the iTunes Store and the iPod media player he developed important milestones for the market success of digital music downloads in the early 2000s . Jobs was also the managing director and main shareholder of Pixar Animation Studios and, after a merger, the largest single shareholder of the Walt Disney Company . His net worth was estimated at $ 8.3 billion by Forbes Magazine in March 2011 .


Childhood and studies

Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco as the son of the Syrian political student Abdulfattah Jandali and the American of German and Swiss descent Joanne Carole Schieble. Since neither the parents of his birth mother nor the parents of the father had consented to marriage and his 23-year-old parents could not provide for the child's maintenance, Schieble gave her son up for adoption as a social orphan . Schieble made her consent to adoption dependent on her son growing up with academics. Initially, a lawyer refused the adoption shortly after Jobs was born because he and his wife wanted a daughter, and Steve Jobs was eventually taken over by Paul Reinhold Jobs (1922–1993) and his Armenian-born wife Clara Jobs (née Hagopian, 1924–1986), from Mountain View , California, adopted and eventually given the name Steven Paul Jobs. The Jobs couple, neither of whom were academics, wrested a promise to give Jobs access to college . He only found out about this around 20 years later from his biological parents as well as from his biological sister, the author Mona Simpson .

Even as a child, Steve Jobs became interested in the then growing electronics industry. In Silicon Valley , the Santa Clara Valley, in which Palo Alto was also located, Jobs lived in the immediate vicinity of engineers from companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Intel . His parents noticed early on that Jobs was a quick learner. Even when he started school at the Monta Loma Elementary, he was able to read and in the first few years was more bored than learning something until a teacher took him on and enabled him to skip a class.

In 1972 he graduated from Homestead High School in Cupertino , California, and enrolled at Reed College , Portland . Jobs dropped out of studies after the first semester, but stayed on campus for a long time and attended individual lectures. He tried LSD when he was a student . He told a reporter that taking LSD was "one of the two or three most important things he'd done in his life." At the beginning of 1974 he worked for a few months at Atari and then traveled to India, where he dealt with Hinduism, Buddhism and primary therapy (primal screaming therapy). The trip was financed for him and his friend Dan Kottke by the Atari engineer Allan Alcorn on the condition that they fly over Germany. Jobs then helped the local Atari sales team in Munich to eliminate grounding problems with American 60 Hertz power supplies in Atari game computers in the German 50 Hertz power grid.

In the fall of 1974 he had returned and attended homebrew computer club meetings. He went back to work at Atari and got an order for the game Breakout . Steve Wozniak , a close friend he had met a few years earlier through mutual friend Bill Fernandez, developed the game in four days. Jobs claimed he only got $ 700 and gave Wozniak $ 350, even though the fee was $ 5,000.

In the 1970s, Steve Jobs ate the strict diet of the fruitarians , which, according to his own account, gave rise to the name of his company, Apple .

It was during this time that John T. Draper (aka Captain Crunch ) discovered that a modified toy whistle included in every pack of Cap'n Crunch breakfast cereals could produce the 2600 Hertz tone used by AT&T switches was used to control the billing of call charges. Wozniak then built a blue box that could produce this sound. He and Jobs began selling these boxes in 1974, which allowed the owner to make free long distance calls.


Parental home of Paul and Clara Jobs in Los Altos with the garage
Steve Jobs' signature can be found among others in the case of the first Macintosh computers

In 1976, Jobs and Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded the Apple Computer Company in Jobs' garage in Los Altos , California. Their first product advertised with the apple with a bite was the Apple I , which sold for $ 666.66. The prototype was in a self-made wooden case.

In 1977 the Apple II was introduced, which made Apple a major player in the home computer market. In December 1980, Apple was converted into a corporation , and Apple presented the Apple III , which, however, was not a similarly great success. In 1983, Jobs recruited Pepsi manager John Sculley for the post of CEO at Apple. In the same year, Apple launched the Apple Lisa .

During this time Steve Jobs campaigned for a tax-privileged introduction of personal computers in schools. The first article in the New York Times that mentions Jobs is about this then-unenforceable bill:

"The main sponsor and initiator of this venture is Apple Computer Corporation, whose chairman, Steve Jobs, vowed once again to bring computers to every American school."

- New York Times : Avid E. Sanger - The Computer Develops some Glitches , January 9, 1983. Translated from the American.

In 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh . It was the first commercially successful computer with a graphical user interface (i.e. screen symbols instead of command line code) and the computer mouse as the standard input medium. The development of the "Mac" began with Jef Raskin and his team, who were inspired by technology that was developed at the Xerox Research Center but not used commercially. The success of the Macintosh led Apple to abandon the Apple II in favor of the Macintosh line of products that are pursued to this day.

Jobs left the company in 1985 after an internal power struggle with Sculley. Five key employees followed him.


For Jobs began five years, which he later described as one of his most creative phases.

In 1986 he founded another computer company, NeXT Computer. Worried that he would use Apple technology in the planned NeXT computers, Sculley went to court against Jobs. The allegation was: breach of fiduciary responsibility and "nefarious" incitement to withdraw Apple's trade secrets. The process ended on January 17, 1986 with a settlement in which Jobs undertook to allow Apple to look into NeXT developments for a while by showing the company prototypes, and until July 1, 1987, no computers of their own on the market bring to.

The NeXT workstation was technically ahead of the other devices on the market, but never became popular outside of scientific applications. So developed Tim Berners-Lee , the World Wide Web at the Swiss CERN -Institut on a NeXT workstation. NeXT used pioneering techniques such as object-oriented programming , display PostScript and magneto-optical drives .

In order to concentrate on software development, Jobs sold the hardware business after seven years in February 1993 to the former investor Canon . Of the original 530 employees, 200 stayed with NeXT and 100 switched to Canon.


Parallel to founding NeXT, Jobs and Edwin Catmull invested five million dollars (one third of the original price) plus another five million dollars in 1986 to build Pixar , an Emeryville, California-based computer animation studio, whose founder George Lucas made Lucasfilm - To buy out the graphics department.

The company had its first success with Toy Story in 1995, and the IPO made Jobs a billionaire. As the first fully computer-animated feature film, the production was awarded the Special Achievement Award (Oscar for “special achievements”). In the Jobs category , the Pixar films Finding Nemo and The Incredibles - The Incredibles each received an Oscar in the " Best Animated Feature " category, which has been in existence since 2002 .

On 24 January 2006, the media and entertainment group was Walt Disney Company after US market close announced that he would take over Pixar for 7.4 billion US dollars. As part of the deal, Pixar CEO Steve Jobs was added to Disney's Board of Directors . In addition, Jobs became Disney 's largest single shareholder with 6% through its Pixar stake of around 50.1% . In March 2010, Jobs held 138 million Disney shares.

Return to Apple

Steve Jobs with Bill Gates at All Things Digital 2007

In 1996, Apple bought NeXT for $ 402 million. Jobs has since worked as a consultant in the company. In August 1997 he became a member of the board of directors and shortly afterwards, after Gil Amelio's dismissal in September that year, temporarily managing director of the company. In the same year, Jobs completed many products and research projects, as well as all of the company's long-term charity programs. He justified this with the need to cut costs in order to restore the company's profitability .

With the purchase of NeXT, its technology was taken over and integrated into the Apple products; mainly it was about NeXTStep , which was updated step by step and finally became the new operating system of the Macintosh computers under the name "Mac OS X" . The current (now renamed) OS X not only has superficial similarities to NeXTStep, such as the Dock , but also uses the same core technologies, in particular FreeBSD , Objective-C and the Cocoa API.

Under Jobs' leadership, the iMac was introduced in 1998 , which helped the troubled corporation to return to profitability. With the portable music players iPod in 2001, the jukebox software iTunes , the iTunes Store (until 2006 iTunes Music Store) and the iPhone (2007), the company created a new market for “ digital lifestyle ” products. The iPad , presented by Jobs on January 27, 2010, built on the success of these products .

Jobs worked at Apple for several years for an annual salary of one dollar and was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the worst paid executive. After Apple became a profitable company again, in January 2001 the company removed the "temporarily" from Jobs' title of CEO. In addition to his salary, Jobs received some exclusive gifts from management; for example, a $ 35 million jet in 1999 that he leased to Apple while idle, and nearly 30 million shares of Apple's stock from 2000–2002. In March 2010, Jobs held 5.426 million shares in Apple.

In January 2011, Steve Jobs handed over day-to-day operations to Tim Cook for health reasons . However, he remained Apple's CEO . On August 24, 2011, Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple for good. Tim Cook was finally officially appointed as his permanent successor after he had already been running the group on January 17, 2011. Jobs himself was elected chairman of the board of directors. He held this position until his death on October 5th.

Private life

Mourning after his death at the Apple Store in Frankfurt am Main
Steve Jobs' house in Palo Alto
Statue of Jobs in Graphisoft Park, Budapest

On March 18, 1991, Jobs married Laurene Powell . The couple has three children, the youngest child from this marriage is the show jumper Eve Jobs . The daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs, born in 1978, comes from a relationship with the journalist Chrisann Brennan. In 1996 his sister Mona Simpson published the book "A Regular Guy", the story of Steve and Lisa. He also had a relationship with folk singer Joan Baez in the 1980s .

Even as a student, Jobs was interested in a healthy eating strategy. The ideas of the German naturopath Arnold Ehret had a lasting impact on him . Steve Jobs' eating habits have changed several times over the course of his life. Steve Jobs was a vegan for the longest part of his life, but at times also confessed to vegetarianism , fruititarianism and pescetarianism . Jobs was also a Buddhist . He described himself as a fan of Bob Dylan and the Beatles ; the latter were the model for his business model, as he said in the American documentary series 60 Minutes :

“There were four guys who kept each other's negative tendencies in check, they balanced each other out so that the whole became much more than the sum of its parts. Big things in the business world are not done by one person, but by a team. "

On July 31, 2004, Steve Jobs underwent surgery to remove an islet cell tumor . During his absence, Tim Cook replaced him at Apple COO . According to Walter Isaacson's authorized biography by Steve Jobs, Jobs refused to undergo surgery for months after being diagnosed in October 2003 . Rather, he resorted to alternative treatment attempts whose effectiveness had never been scientifically proven. Later treatments included individualized therapy based on genome analysis of tumor and body cells.

In August 2008, the Bloomberg news service inadvertently published an incomplete obituary for him, but it was immediately deleted. In early January 2009, Jobs wrote an open letter about his health and his associated absence from Macworld . He attributed his weight loss to a hormonal imbalance .

Later, in January 2009, Jobs announced that he would retire from Apple's day-to-day operations by the end of June 2009 due to illness. In June 2009, it was announced that Steve Jobs had undergone a liver transplant in April at the Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee . The reason for the liver transplant was not known, but it was believed that the tumor had metastasized to the liver . Jobs returned to the Apple stage on September 9, 2009 for the Apple presentation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

In August 2011, the first of Steve Jobs authorized biography under the title was Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson published by Simon & Schuster announced. According to a biography of the publisher John Wiley & Sons previously published in 2005 , Jobs had the sale of all works by this publisher in the Apple Stores prohibited because this biography had not been authorized by him. In its financial report for 2010, the publisher stated that an agreement had been reached and that the publisher's books should be accessible for the iPad.

On October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs died at home with his family of complications from his cancer. On October 7th, he was buried in a non-denominational cemetery (Alta Mesa Memorial Park) in Santa Clara, California. Tim Cook invited the company's employees to an internal memorial service on October 19, 2011. A public memorial service for the company was ruled out. On October 20, 2011, Apple activated a special memorial page on its website, on which expressions of condolences are continuously published, which were sent by e-mail.

A year after his death, Apple put a video about Steve Jobs on the homepage of the website.


“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. "

Design is not just what it looks or feels like. Design is how it works. "

- Steve Jobs : The Guts of a New Machine (1993, New York Times article )

"I had a little over a million dollars when I was 23, over 10 million at 24, and over 100 million at 25, and it didn't matter because I didn't do it for the money."

- Steve Jobs : Triumph of the Nerds (1996, TV documentary)

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. "

“Your work will be a huge part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you think is great. And the only way you can do great is when you love what you do. And if you haven't found it yet, keep an eye out. Don't be satisfied. Just like in all matters of the heart, you will notice when you have found it. "

- Steve Jobs : Stanford commencement speech (2005)

“A lot of times people think they're crazy. But in that craziness we see genius. And those are the people we're making tools for. "

“A lot of people think they are crazy. But in this madness we see the genius. And we make tools for these people. "

- Steve Jobs : Macworld 1997


  • The early years of Apple and Steve Jobs are recreated in the feature film The Silicon Valley Story . The film is based on the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine ( ISBN 0-07-135895-1 ), but it is not a documentation and partly contains fictional content.
  • In a film called " Jobs ", which was released in US cinemas in August 2013, the period between 1971 and 2000 is shown; the story ends before the iPod was introduced in 2001. Above all, the creative early years of Apple's founding, the expulsion from the company and its later return in 1997 are discussed. Jobs is played in the film by Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher .
  • In April 2013 the film iSteve by the production company Funny or Die was released on the Internet . Justin Long plays Steve Jobs and Jorge Garcia plays Steve Wozniak.
  • On November 12, 2015, the biopic Steve Jobs , directed by Danny Boyle and based on a script by Aaron Sorkin , premiered in Germany; in the USA it was released five weeks earlier. Michael Fassbender took on the leading role .



Jobs gave the Mathematica software package, published in 1988, his name.

To mark the first anniversary of Steve Jobs' death , a wax figure was created that is on display in Madame Tussauds Hong Kong . Jobs can be seen in his characteristic clothing (jeans, sweater, sneakers).

Apple released a special homepage on October 5, 2012 with a video about Steve Jobs. On a subsequent page, Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO, pays tribute to Steve Jobs as a great visionary.

On September 12, 2017, on the occasion of the presentation of the iPhone X, a monologue by Steve Jobs was presented at the beginning of the event in the darkened Steve Jobs Theater.

The opera The (R) evolution of Steve Jobs by Mason Bates (music) and Mark Campbell (libretto) deals with Steve Jobs' life. It premiered on July 22, 2017 at the Santa Fe Opera .



  • Steve Jobs: Trillion Dollar Hippy . 2011. By Laura Craig Gray and Tristan Quinn


  • Klaus Brinkbäumer, Thomas Schulz: The philosopher of the 21st century . In: Der Spiegel . No. 17, 2010.
  • Alan Deutschman: The Incredible Comeback of Steve Jobs: How He Invented Apple for the Second Time. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt / New York 2001, ISBN 3-593-36781-5 .
  • Jessie Hartland: Steve Jobs. The incredibly brilliant life of the iPhone inventor. A comic biography. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-7373-4027-4 .
  • Walter Isaacson : Steve Jobs: The Authorized Biography of the Apple Founder. Translated from English by Antoinette Gittinger, Oliver Grasmück, Dagmar Mallet, Elfi Martin, Andrea Stumpf and Gabriele Werbeck. 1st edition. C. Bertelsmann Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-570-10124-7 .
  • Carsten Knop: Big Apple. The legacy of Steve Job. Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-89981-271-8 .
  • Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli: Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader. Crown Business, 2015, ISBN 978-0-385-34740-2 .
  • Daniel Smith: How to think like Steve Jobs. The apple's core: what everyone can learn from it. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-86265-103-0 . (The English original edition was published in 2013)
  • Jeffrey S. Young, William L. Simon: Steve Jobs and the Story of an Extraordinary Company. German translation by: iCon Steve Jobs . Joke 2006, ISBN 3-502-15052-4
  • Lisa Brennan-Jobs: Bycatch - A childhood like a novel. Translated from English by Bettina Abarbanell. Berlin-Verlag 2018, ISBN 978-3827013644 .

Web links

Commons : Steve Jobs  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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