Steve Jobs

From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
Video [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.

Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American inventor, designer, and businessman. He was the co-founder and long-time chief executive of Apple Inc.; he co-founded the company with Stephen Wozniak in 1976 and would become the CEO and chairman of the corporation. He also co-founded Pixar Animation Studios, which was behind such animated films as Toy Story and A Bug's Life, and remained on the board of directors when it merged with The Walt Disney Company. Jobs, who served as Apple's CEO until shortly before his death, had fought pancreatic cancer for some years. He had received 317 patents for products he designed or co-designed.

Jobs was born in San Francisco to a Syrian father and German-American mother, but was adopted shortly after his birth to Clara and Paul Jobs in California. Jobs attended Reed College in 1972 before withdrawing that same year. In 1974, he traveled through India seeking enlightenment before later studying Zen Buddhism. He and Wozniak co-founded Apple in 1976 to sell their Apple I personal computer. Together the duo gained success a year later with production and sale of the Apple II, one of the first mass-produced microcomputers. Jobs saw the commercial potential of the Xerox Alto in 1979, which was mouse-driven and had a graphical user interface (GUI). This led to the development of the unsuccessful Apple Lisa in 1983, followed by the breakthrough Macintosh in 1984, the first mass-produced computer with a GUI.

In 1985, Jobs departed Apple after a long power struggle with the company's board and its then-CEO, John Sculley. That same year, Jobs took a few Apple employees with him to found NeXT, a computer platform development company that specialized in computers for higher-education and business markets. In addition, he helped to develop the visual effects industry when he funded the computer graphics division of George Lucas's Lucasfilm in 1986, named Pixar.

In 1997, Jobs returned to Apple as CEO after the company's acquisition of NeXT. He was largely responsible for reviving Apple, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. He worked closely with British designer Jony Ive to develop a line of innovative products, leading to the landmark iMac, iPad, iPod, iPhone, and iTunes creations. These products greatly boosted the success of Apple, which went on to become the most valuable company in the world after his death.

In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. He died in October 2011, at the age of 56, with Tim Cook succeeding him as CEO of Apple. In 2022, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Early life


Founding of Apple

Steve Jobs and high school friend Steve Wozniak started Apple Computer in 1976 at Job's parents home on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California. In 1975, Jobs had a job as a computer technician at Atari when he enlisted Wozniak on a special project to reduce the number of chips on a circuit board. Wozniak dramatically reduce the number of chips required on the circuit board, and they realized that they were a great team together and founded their own company. Wozniak developed the Apple I computer at home, which they begin to sell to a local computer retailer. To fund the first batch, Wozniak sold his HP scientific calculator and Jobs sold his Volkswagen van. They ended up selling about 200 units of this initial product.


English: Steve Jobs and Macintosh computer, January 1984. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bernard Gotfryd

Health problems

In October 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. In mid-2004, he announced to his employees that he had a cancerous tumor in his pancreas. The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is usually very poor; Jobs stated that he had a rare, much less aggressive type, known as islet cell neuroendocrine tumor.

Jobs resisted his doctors' recommendations for conventional medical intervention for nine months. Cancer researcher and alternative medicine critic David Gorski wrote that "it's impossible to know whether and by how much he might have decreased his chances of surviving his cancer through his flirtation with woo. My best guess was that Jobs probably only modestly decreased his chances of survival, if that." According to biographer Walter Isaacson, "for nine months he refused to undergo surgery for his pancreatic cancer – a decision he later regretted as his health declined.’’ Instead, he tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and other treatments he found online, and even consulted a psychic. He finally was convinced to undergo a pancreaticoduodenectomy (a modified "Whipple procedure") that appeared to remove the tumor successfully. Jobs did not receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy. During Jobs's absence, Tim Cook, head of worldwide sales and operations at Apple, ran the company.

In January 2006, only Jobs's wife, his doctors, and Iger knew that his cancer had returned. Jobs told Iger privately that he hoped to live to see his son Reed's high school graduation in 2010. In early August 2006, Jobs delivered the keynote for Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. His "thin, almost gaunt" appearance and unusually "listless" delivery, together with his choice to delegate significant portions of his keynote to other presenters, inspired a flurry of media and internet speculation about the state of his health. Two years later, similar concerns followed Jobs's 2008 WWDC keynote address. Apple officials stated that Jobs was victim to a "common bug" and was taking antibiotics, while others surmised his gaunt appearance was due to the Whipple procedure. During a July conference call discussing Apple earnings, participants responded to repeated questions about Jobs's health by insisting that it was a "private matter".

On August 28, 2008, Bloomberg mistakenly published a 2500-word obituary of Jobs in its corporate news service, containing blank spaces for his age and cause of death. Although the error was promptly rectified, many news carriers reported on it, intensifying rumors concerning Jobs's health.

On January 14, 2009, Jobs wrote in an internal Apple memo that in the previous week he had "learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought." He announced a six-month leave of absence until the end of June 2009, to allow him to better focus on his health. Tim Cook, who previously acted as CEO in Jobs's 2004 absence, became acting CEO of Apple, with Jobs still involved with "major strategic decisions". In 2009, Tim Cook offered a portion of his liver to Jobs, since both share a rare blood type and the donor liver can regenerate tissue after such an operation. In April 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee.


Some content on this page may previously have appeared on Wikipedia.