Early LifeSteven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California, to Joanne Schieble (later Joanne Simpson) and Abdulfattah "John" Jandali, two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave their unnamed son up for adoption. His father, Abdulfattah Jandali, was a Syrian political science professor and his mother, Joanne Schieble, worked as a speech therapist. Shortly after Steve was placed for adoption, his biological parents married and had another child, Mona Simpson. It was not until Jobs was 27 that he was able to uncover information on his biological parents.
As an infant, Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs and named Steven Paul Jobs. Clara worked as an accountant and Paul was a Coast Guard veteran and machinist. The family lived in Mountain View within California's Silicon Valley. As a boy, Jobs and his father would work on electronics in the family garage. Paul would show his son how to take apart and reconstruct electronics, a hobby which instilled confidence, tenacity and mechanical prowess in young Jobs.
While Jobs has always been an intelligent and innovative thinker, his youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. A prankster in elementary school, Jobs's fourth-grade teacher needed to bribe him to study. Jobs tested so well, however, that administrators wanted to skip him ahead to high school—a proposal that his parents declined.
Not long after Jobs did enroll at Homestead High School (1971), he was introduced to his future partner, Steve Wozniak, through a friend of Wozniak's. Wozniak was attending the University of Michigan at the time. In a 2007 interview with ABC News, Wozniak spoke about why he and Jobs clicked so well: "We both loved electronics and the way we used to hook up digital chips," Wozniak said. "Very few people, especially back then had any idea what chips were, how they worked and what they could do. I had designed many computers so I was way ahead of him in electronics and computer design, but we still had common interests. We both had pretty much sort of an independent attitude about things in the world. ..."
Apple ComputersAfter high school, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Lacking direction, he dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes. Jobs later recounted how one course in calligraphy developed his love of typography.
In 1974, Jobs took a position as a video game designer with Atari.
Several months later he left Atari to find spiritual enlightenment in India, traveling the continent and experimenting with psychedelic drugs. In 1976, when Jobs was just 21, he and Wozniak started Apple Computers. The duo started in the Jobs family garage,
and funded their entrepreneurial venture after Jobs sold his Volkswagen bus and Wozniak sold his beloved scientific calculator.
Jobs and Wozniak are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making the machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive and accessible to everyday consumers. Wozniak conceived a series of user-friendly personal computers, and—with Jobs in charge of marketing—Apple initially marketed the computers for $666.66 each, and the Apple I earned the corporation around $774,000. Three years after the release of Apple's second model, the Apple II, the company's sales increased by 700 percent, to $139 million. In 1980, Apple Computer became a publicly traded company, with a market value of $1.2 billion on its very first day of trading. Jobs looked to marketing expert John Scully of Pepsi-Cola to help fill the role of Apple's president.