Steven Paul Jobs's birth parents met at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where his Syrian-born biological father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali, was an undergraduate and then graduate student, and where his biological mother, Swiss-American Joanne Carole Schieble, studied for a degree in speech language pathology. Jandali, who emigrated to the U.S. from Homs, Syria at the age of 19, was a graduate student studying political science when he met and became involved with Schieble. When Schieble became pregnant, her fundamentalist father vehemently refused to let her marry Jandali, and Schieble ended up going to California to have the baby and give it up for adoption. About six months later, Schieble's father died suddenly, so she married Jandali in December 1955. Jandali swiftly finished his Ph.D. and got a teaching position at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. The couple moved there and then had another child, Mona Simpson, who is Steve Jobs's full sister. Their marriage ended in 1962, and then Schieble moved with her daughter to Los Angeles, and later remarried.
Jobs was born in San Francisco, California on February 24, 1955. He was adopted at birth by Paul Reinhold Jobs (1922–1993) and Clara Jobs (née Hagopian) (1924–1986), an Armenian American. Paul and Clara had gotten married in March 1946, ten days after they met. Clara had an ectopic pregnancy and couldn't bear children. In 1955, nine years after their marriage, they decided to adopt a child.
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 to skip only 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 his neighbor, Steve Wozniak, a computer and electronics whiz kid, who was also known as "Woz". In 1969 Wozniak started building a little computer board with Fernandez that they named "The Cream Soda Computer", which they showed to Jobs; he seemed really interested. Wozniak 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.
In 1972, Steve Wozniak designed his own version of the classic Video Game Pong. After finishing it, Wozniak gave the board to Jobs, who then took the game down to Atari, Inc in Los Gatos, California. Atari thought that Jobs had built it and gave him a job as a technician. Atari's co-founder Nolan Bushnell later 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 traveled to India in mid-1974 to visit Neem Karoli Baba at his Kainchi ashram with Reed College friend and later, Daniel Kottke, in search of spiritual enlightenment.
In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for the price of $10 million, $5 million of which was given to the company as capital.
The first film produced by the partnership, Toy Story (1995), with Jobs credited as executive producer, brought fame and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released. Over the next 15 years, under Pixar's creative chief John Lasseter, the company produced box-office hits A Bug's Life (1998); Toy Story 2 (1999); Monsters, Inc. (2001); Finding Nemo (2003); The Incredibles (2004); Cars (2006); Ratatouille (2007); WALL-E (2008); Up (2009); and Toy Story 3 (2010). Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3 each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001.
Before this happen Apple didn't accept the work of Jobs and he left Apple. In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $427 million. The deal was finalized in February 1997, bringing Jobs back to the company he co-founded. Jobs became de facto chief after then-CEO Gil Amelio was ousted in July 1997. He was formally named interim chief executive in September. In March 1998, to concentrate Apple's efforts on returning to profitability, Jobs terminated a number of projects, such as Newton, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc. In the coming months, many employees developed a fear of encountering Jobs while riding in the elevator, "afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened. The reality was that Jobs's summary executions were rare, but a handful of victims was enough to terrorize a whole company." Jobs also changed the licensing program for Macintosh clones, making it too costly for the manufacturers to continue making machines.
With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company's technology found its way into Apple products, most notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs's guidance, the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products; since then, appealing designs and powerful branding have worked well for Apple. At the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the "interim" modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO. Jobs quipped at the time that he would be using the title "iCEO".
Jobs on stage at Macworld Conference & Expo, San Francisco, January 11, 2005
The company subsequently branched out, introducing and improving upon other digital appliances. With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution. On June 29, 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, which also included the features of an iPod and, with its own mobile browser, revolutionized the mobile browsing scene. While stimulating innovation, Jobs also reminded his employees that "real artists ship".
Jobs was both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the "reality distortion field" and was particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as "Stevenotes") at Macworld Expos and at Apple Worldwide Developers Conferences.
In 2005, Jobs responded to criticism of Apple's poor recycling programs for e-waste in the US by lashing out at environmental and other advocates at Apple's Annual Meeting in Cupertino in April. A few weeks later, Apple announced it would take back iPods for free at its retail stores. The Computer TakeBack Campaign responded by flying a banner from a plane over the Stanford University graduation at which Jobs was the commencement speaker. The banner read "Steve, don't be a mini-player—recycle all e-waste".
In 2006, he further expanded Apple's recycling programs to any US customer who buys a new Mac. This program includes shipping and "environmentally friendly disposal" of their old systems.
In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple, but remained with the company as chairman of its board. Hours after the announcement, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares dropped five percent in after-hours trading. This relatively small drop, when considering the importance of Jobs to Apple, was associated with the fact that his health had been in the news for several years, and he had been on medical leave since January 2011. It was believed, according to Forbes, that the impact would be felt in a negative way beyond Apple, including at The Walt Disney Company where Jobs served as director. In after-hours trading on the day of the announcement, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) shares dropped 1.5 percent.
Jobs died at his Palo Alto, California, home around 3 p.m. on October 5, 2011, due to complications from a relapse of his previously treated islet-cell neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer, resulting in respiratory arrest. He had lost consciousness the day before, and died with his wife, children, and sisters at his side.
Both Apple and Microsoft flew their flags at half-staff throughout their respective headquarters and campuses. Bob Igerordered all Disney properties, including Walt Disney World and Disneyland, to fly their flags at half-staff from October 6 to 12, 2011.
His death was announced by Apple in a statement which read:
We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.
Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.
For two weeks following his death, Apple's corporate Web site displayed a simple page, showing Jobs's name and lifespan next to his grayscale portrait. Clicking on the image led to an obituary, which read:
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
An email address was also posted for the public to share their memories, condolences, and thoughts. Over a million tributes were sent, which are now displayed on the Steve Jobs memorial page.
Also dedicating its homepage to Jobs was Pixar, with a photo of Jobs, John Lasseter and Edwin Catmull, and the eulogy they wrote:
Steve was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend, and our guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to 'make it great.' He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity, and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be part of Pixar's DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time.
A small private funeral was held on October 7, 2011, of which details were not revealed out of respect to Jobs's family. Apple announced on the same day that they had no plans for a public service, but were encouraging "well-wishers" to send their remembrance messages to an email address created to receive such messages. Sunday, October 16, 2011, was declared "Steve Jobs Day" by Governor Jerry Brown of California. On that day, an invitation-only memorial was held at Stanford University. Those in attendance included Apple and other tech company executives, members of the media, celebrities, close friends of Jobs, and politicians, along with Jobs's family. Bono, Yo Yo Ma, and Joan Baez performed at the service, which lasted longer than an hour. The service was highly secured, with guards at all of the university's gates, and a helicopter flying overhead from an area news station.
A private memorial service for Apple employees was held on October 19, 2011, on the Apple Campus in Cupertino. Present were Cook, Bill Campbell, Norah Jones, Al Gore, and Coldplay, and Jobs's widow, Laurene. Some of Apple's retail stores closed briefly so employees could attend the memorial. A video of the service is available on Apple's website.
Jobs is buried in an unmarked grave at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, the only non-denominational cemetery in Palo Alto. He is survived by Laurene, his wife of 20 years, their three children, and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter from a previous relationship. His family released a statement saying that he "died peacefully". His sister, Mona Simpson, described his passing thus: "Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times. Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
Steve’s final words were:
"OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW." He then lost consciousness and died several hours later.