Steven Paul Jobs

Born 1955, Los Altos, Calif.; evangelic bad boy who, with Steve Wozniak, co-founded Apple Computer Corporation and became a multimillionaire before the age of 30; subsequently started the NeXT Corporation to provide an educational system at a reasonable price.

Education: undergraduate, physics, literature, and poetry, Reed College, Ore.

Professional Experience Atari Corp.; Apple Corp.; NeXT Corp.

Going to work for Atari after leaving Reed College, Jobs renewed his friendship with Steve Wozniak. The two designed computer games for Atari and a telephone "blue box," getting much of their impetus from the Homebrew Computer Club. Beginning work in the Jobs' family garage, they managed to make their first "killing" when the Byte Shop in Mountain View bought their first 50 fully assembled computers. On this basis the Apple Corporation was founded, the name based on Job's favorite fruit and the logo (initially used as the unregistered logo of the ACM APL Conference in San Francisco) chosen to play on both the company name and the word byte. Through the early 1980s Jobs controlled the business side of the corporation, successively hiring presidents who would take the organization to a higher level. With the layoffs of 1985 Jobs lost a power struggle with John Sculley, and after a short hiatus reappeared with new funding to create the NeXT Corporation.

QUOTATIONS

"Woz[niak] was the first person I met who knew more about electronics than I did."

About Jobs: "Like the Bhagwan, driving around Rancho Rajneesh each day in another Rolls-Royce, Jobs kept his troops fascinated and productive. The joke going around said that Jobs had a 'reality distortion field' surrounding him. He'd say something, and the kids in the Macintosh division would find themselves replying 'Drink poison Kool-Aid? Yeah, that makes sense."' (Cringely 1992)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Biographical

Caddes, Carolyn, Portraits of Success: Impressions of Silicon Valley Pioneers, Tioga Publishing Co., Palo Alto, Calif., 1986.

Cringely, Robert X., Accidental Empires, Williams Patrick/Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1992.

Denning, Peter J., and Karen A. Frenkel, "A Conversation with Steve Jobs," Comm. ACM, Vol. 32, No. 4, Apr. 1989, pp. 437-443.

Levy, Steven, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden City, NY, 1984.

Slater, Robert, Portraits in Silicon, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1987, Chapter 28.

Young, Jeffrey S., Steve Jobs: The Journey is the Reward, Scott, Foresman and Co., Glenview, Ill., 1988.

UPDATES

Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011 (MRW, 2012)

Photo replaced (MRW, 2013)

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Original content Copyright © 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
New content Copyright © 2013 by the IEEE Computer Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
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