Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs was the founder and chief executive of the Apple Computer company. He was born in 1955 and given up for adoption by his parents, both graduate students at the University of Wisconsin. Jobs was then adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs; he grew up in Mountain View, California, an area that would later become Silicon Valley.

At a young age, Jobs was fascinated by electronics. His father, Paul, showed him how to take apart and put together different electronic appliances, fostering Jobs'interest in the subject. While Jobs showed intellectual potential as a child, his personality did not fit well with a rigid and formal schooling model; he constantly played pranks in school and his fourth grade teacher had to bribe him to study. After high school, Jobs began studying at Reed College in Oregon, but dropped out after six months. He nevertheless stayed at Reed and went to some classes that interested him, slept on the floors of friends'rooms, and got meals at a Hare Krishna temple. He later became a Buddhist. Calligraphy was one class that he enjoyed, and he said that it influenced his interest in design and the use of elegant fonts on Apple computers.

In 1976, Jobs got together with Steve Wozniak, a friend from high school, and started the Apple Computer company in the Jobs family garage. Jobs wanted to make computers more compact, affordable, and efficient for everyday consumers. Wozniak focused on the technical aspect of building computers while Jobs was in charge of marketing and design. The first Apple computer was priced at 666.66 dollars. Apple's second model, however, the Apple II proved very popular with the public and sales increased by 700 percent. It was the first personal computer capable of displaying color graphics. As sales continued to increase, the company grew in size and in staff. Apple's first logo had a picture of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Next came the rainbow-striped apple with a bite taken out on the side. The colored stripes represented the fact that the Apple II could create graphics in color. In 1997, it was simplified to a single color that has changed over time.

Apple released the Macintosh computer in 1984, but Jobs left the company in 1985 after the company’s board of directors decided it needed new leadership. Even though he was co-founder of the company, he had no official title, making his position at the company vulnerable. Jobs instead bought what would eventually become Pixar Animation Studios from George Lucas and founded a new company called NeXt Inc. Coincidentally, Apple bought NeXt Inc. in 1996, and by 1997, Jobs was chief executive officer (CEO) of Apple once again. Jobs' return is said to have reinvigorated the company and brought it back to its original level of innovation and appeal.

After Jobs' return to Apple, he continued pushing the company's vision forward with his ideas for sleek design, branding, and intuitive technology. The release of the Macbook Air, iPod, iPhone, iPad left other companies scrambling to replicate Apple's formula for success. According to Jobs, "In 1984, Apple introduced the first Macintosh. It didn't just change Apple. It changed the whole computer industry. In 2001, we introduced the first iPod. It didn't just change the way we all listen to music. It changed the entire music industry."

Jobs turned his CEO position over to Tim Cook in August 2011 and passed away a few months later due to pancreatic cancer, but his visionary mind lives on in the company he created.