Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955 to two university students, Joanne Carole Schieble, of Swiss Catholic descent, and Syrian-born Abdulfattah "John" Jandali (Arabic: عبدالفتاح جندلي), who were both unmarried at the time. Jandali, who was teaching in Wisconsin when Steve was born, said he had no choice but to put the baby up for adoption because his girlfriend's family objected to their relationship.
The baby was adopted at birth by Paul Reinhold Jobs (1922–1993) and Clara Jobs (1924–1986), an Armenian American whose maiden name was Hagopian. According to Steve Jobs's commencement address at Stanford, Schieble wanted Jobs to be adopted only by a ...view middle of the document...
Jobs's youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. At Monta Loma Elementary school in Mountain View, he frequently played pranks on others. Though school officials recommended that he skip two grades on account of his test scores, his parents elected for him only to skip one grade.
Jobs then attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. At Homestead, Jobs became friends with Bill Fernandez, a neighbor who shared the same interests in electronics. Fernandez introduced Jobs to another, older computer whiz kid, Steve Wozniak (also known as "Woz"). In 1969 Woz started building a little computer board with Fernandez that they named "The Cream Soda Computer", which they showed to Jobs; he seemed really interested. (Woz has stated that they called it the Cream Soda Computer because he and Fernandez drank cream soda all the time whilst they worked on it and that he and Jobs had gone to the same high school, although they did not know each other there.)
Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Reed was an expensive college which his parent could ill afford. They were spending much of their life savings on their son's higher education. Jobs dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes, including a course on calligraphy. He continued auditing classes at Reed while sleeping on the floor in friends' dorm rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. Jobs later said, "If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter, September 1976
In 1974, Jobs took a job as a technician at Atari, Inc in California. Atari's founder Nolan Bushnell, who hired Jobs, described him as "difficult but valuable", pointing out that "he was very often the smartest guy in the room, and he would let people know that." Jobs travelled to India in mid-1974 to visit Neem Karoli Baba at his Kainchi Ashram with a Reed College friend (and, later, an early Apple employee), Daniel Kottke, in search of spiritual enlightenment. When they got to the Neem Karoli ashram, it was almost deserted as Neem Karoli Baba had died in September 1973. Then they made a long trek up a dry riverbed to an ashram of Hariakhan Baba. In India, they spent a lot of time on bus rides from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh and back, then up to...