9:18 AM9 things you didn’t know about the life of Steve Jobs
For all of his years in the spotlight at the helm of Apple, Steve Jobs in many ways remains an inscrutable figure — even in his death. Fiercely private, Jobs concealed most specifics about his personal life, from his curious family life to the details of his battle with pancreatic cancer — a disease that ultimately claimed him on Wednesday, at the age of 56.
While the CEO and co-founder of Apple steered most interviews away from the public fascination with his private life, there's plenty we know about Jobs the person, beyond the Mac and the iPhone. If anything, the obscure details of his interior life paint a subtler, more nuanced portrait of how one of the finest technology minds of our time grew into the dynamo that we remember him as today.
1. Early life and childhood
Later in life, Jobs discovered the identities of his estranged parents. His birth mother, Joanne Simpson, was a graduate student at the time and later a speech pathologist; his biological father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, was a Syrian Muslim who left the country at age 18 and reportedly now serves as the vice president of a Reno, Nevada casino. While Jobs reconnected with Simpson in later years, he and his biological father remained estranged.
2. College dropout
In his famous 2005 commencement speechto Stanford University, Jobs said of his time at Reed: "It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple."
3. Fibbed to his Apple co-founder about a job at Atari
He was reportedly offered $750 for his development work, with the possibility of an extra $100 for each chip eliminated from the game's final design. Jobs recruited Steve Wozniak (later one of Apple's other founders) to help him with the challenge. Wozniak managed to whittle the prototype's design down so much that Atari paid out a $5,000 bonus — but Jobs kept the bonus for himself, and paid his unsuspecting friend only $375, according to Wozniak's own autobiography.
4. The wife he leaves behind
For all of his single-minded dedication to the company he built from the ground up, Jobs actually skipped a meetingto take Laurene on their first date: "I was in the parking lot with the key in the car, and I thought to myself, 'If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman?' I ran across the parking lot, asked her if she'd have dinner with me. She said yes, we walked into town and we've been together ever since."
In 1991, Jobs and Powell were married in the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park, and the marriage was officiated by Kobin Chino, a Zen Buddhist monk.
5. His sister is a famous author
6. Celebrity romances
In The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, an unauthorized biography, a friend from Reed reveals that Jobs had a brief fling with folk singer Joan Baez. Baez confirmedthe the two were close "briefly," though her romantic connection with Bob Dylan is much better known (Dylan was the Apple icon's favorite musician). The biography also notes that Jobs went out with actress Diane Keaton briefly.
7. His first daughter
8. Alternative lifestyle
The connection has enough weight that Albert Hofmann, the Swiss scientist who first synthesized (and took) LSD, appealed to Jobs for funding for research about the drug's therapeutic use.
In a book interview, Jobs called his experience with the drug "one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life." As Jobs himself has suggested, LSD may have contributed to the "think different" approach that still puts Apple's designs a head above the competition.
Jobs will forever be a visionary, and his personal life also reflects the forward-thinking, alternative approach that vaulted Apple to success. During a trip to India, Jobs visited a well-known ashram and returned to the U.S. as a Zen Buddhist.
Jobs was also a pescetarian who didn't consume most animal products, and didn't eat meat other than fish. A strong believer in Eastern medicine, he sought to treat his own cancer through alternative approachesand specialized diets before reluctantly seeking his first surgery for a cancerous tumor in 2004.
9. His fortune
In early 2011, Jobs owned 5.5 million shares of Apple. After his death, Apple shares were valued at $377.64— a roughly 43-fold growth in valuation over the last 10 years that shows no signs of slowing down.
He may only have taken in a single dollar per year, but Jobs leaves behind a vast fortune. The largest chunk of that wealth is the roughly $7 billion from the sale of Pixar to Disney in 2006. In 2011, with an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion, he was the 110th richest person in the world, according to Forbes. If Jobs hadn't sold his shares upon leaving Apple in 1985 (before returning to the company in 1996), he would be the world's fifth richest individual.
While there's no word yet on plans for his estate, Jobs leaves behind three children from his marriage to Laurene Jobs (Reed, Erin, and Eve), as well as his first daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs.
This Article Originally appeared on Tokka