Steven Paul Jobs, 1955 - 2011

portrait of Steve Jobs
Presenting at MacWorld 2008, photo by Matthew Yohe

Born: 24 February 1955, San Francisco, California
Died: 5 October 2011, Palo Alto, California

After his parents gave him up for adoption, Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View renamed him. He attended school at Cupertino, while at Homestead High he frequented lectures at Hewlett Packard where he got a summer job. He graduated in 1972 and attended Reed College at Portland, Oregon for one semester before dropping out, although he audited classes including a calligraphy class he later credited with the multiple fonts available on the Macintosh. He returned to California in 1974, working at Atari and joining the Homebrew Computer Club. He traveled to India seeking "spiritual enlightenment", returning as a Buddhist with a shaved head and a taste for psychedelics. He returned to Atari, and with "Woz" developed the original Apple computer on the side. They incorporated in 1976 and made the Apple ][ one of the most successful early personal computers. In 1983 Jobs persuaded John Sculley to leave Pepsi to become CEO of Apple, and in 1984 the company released the first Macintosh. In May of the next year, Jobs was forced out of Apple and started NeXT. The NeXTcube was widely regarded as a technical masterpiece, but it was expensive to build and didn't sell well, by 1993 they had dropped the hardware business. Under CEO Gil Amelio, Apple bought NeXT in 1996, bringing Jobs back to the company, who soon forced Amelio out. Jobs killed most of the new products Apple had been working on, and NeXTstep became the basis for the OS X operating system in 2001. Since then the company has also created the iPod and the iPhone to great success. Outside of Apple, Jobs bought the graphic animation department of Lucasfilms in for $10 millions in 1986 and renamed it Pixar Animation. Pixar films were distributed by Disney under a ten-year contract, at the end of which Jobs and Disney were unable to agree to a new deal and Disney bought the company for $7.4 billions, making Jobs the largest Disney stockholder. Jobs is known as an inspiring and autocratic manager, and his ability to inspire developers and customers has been referred to as a "reality distortion field". In 2004 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which was successfully removed. In 2006 he appeared gaunt in public and in late 2008 the company announced that Jobs was suffering from a "hormone imbalance" and would take a six-month leave of absence. Amid discussion about a company's obligation to communicate serious health issues of key executives to investors, it was revealed only late in Job's leave that he had a liver transplant. Jobs returned full time in July 2009 and resigned as CEO in August 2011. According to a family friend quoted by The New York Times, death was due to complications from the pancreatic cancer.

Biography from Wikipedia and Encarta

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