7 things you didn’t know about

STEVE JOBS

TRAILBLAZER

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#1

He gave to charity… without anyone knowing

Steve was often criticized for not giving to charity like he ‘should have’, especially when compared to Bill Gates who gives away millions every year. During an interview in 1985 Steve was asked about his wealth and he responded by saying ‘That’s a part of my life I like to keep private. When I have some time, I’m going to start a public foundation. I do some things privately now.’

Since this statement he set up Project RED in 2006, which donates the proceeds of Project RED products to The Global Fund to help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in African countries. Upon his death, Steve’s widow said how they both disliked attaching their names to charitable givings. A brilliant example of Steve’s charitable decorum was his generous donation of $50 million to hospitals across California.

#2

Jobs initially refused surgery when diagnosed with cancer

If you’ve even looked into the kind of man Steve Jobs was, you’ll know that stubborn was very high on the list! When he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2003 he rejected surgery for 9 months, despite being told it would’ve been able to pretty much cure him. Instead he opted for alternative treatments including a special diet and spiritual consultations.

Eventually he decided to go ahead with the surgery and at first it seemed to have solved the problem. However in the years that followed his health started to decline. By 2011 he flew to Switzerland for treatment but by this point it was too late and he was dead in the October of that year. His biographer would later reveal that even Steve regretted not opting for surgery sooner.

#3

He was adopted and never met his biological father

His father was a Syrian-born Muslim called Abdulfattah Jandali, and his mother a Catholic woman of Swiss and German descent called Joanne Schieble. The two met at University, however Joanne’s parents weren’t happy with the relationship due to their differences in religious beliefs. Despite this she became pregnant at the age of 23 but decided to give the baby up for adoption to a couple called Paul and Clara Jobs. That baby was named Steve Jobs.

In 2005 Abdulfattah found out that his was Steve’s biological father, but decided not to contact his son, out of fear Steve would assume it was to come after his money. Sadly the 2 never met but Steve said he thinks there’s a chance they did in fact meet his father at a restaurant, without knowing who he was.

#4

He was a Zen Buddhist

That’s right, Steve Jobs was a Zen Buddhist, he even got his guru, a Zen monk to marry him and his wife. When Steve was 19 he embarked upon a spiritual trip to India, where things didn’t quite go to plan as he fell ill and his friend’s travelers checks were stolen. Despite this Steve embraced the culture and the trip taught him that actually Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than both Karl Marx and Neem Baba (the guru he was seeking) put together.

Upon his return home, Steve continued to practice meditation and later met a Zen Priest named Kobun Otogawa, whom he would go on various meditation retreats with. It has been speculated that Steve’s commitment to Zen Buddhism contributed greatly to Apple’s clean and simplistic designs.

#5

He lied to Steve Wozniak, his friend and business partner

Although Steve Jobs will forever be remembered as one of the most famous Trailblazers of all, he did occasionally let himself down. In this instance, Jobs had promised to go 50/50 with Wozniak on the sale of  a game they created called Breakout to Atari. Jobs told Wozniak that he was paid $1500, thus giving $750 to Wozniak, when in fact Atari paid him $4,000. Wozniak later admitted that when he found out (some 10 years later) he cried because he felt so betrayed and even said that if Jobs had asked for the money then he would’ve given it to him.

#6

College dropout

Jobs only lasted one semester at Oregon’s Reed College. During a speech he gave in 2005 he said he just didn’t know what he wanted to do at the time and thought he was wasting his parent’s money by going to college for the sake of it.

Despite officially dropping out of college, he still attended calligraphy classes, which interested him greatly. Jobs later credited these classes in helping him create the first computer with great typography. He said ‘I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical and artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture.’ So although he dropped out of college, there’s no doubt it still helped him become the brilliant man he turned into.

#7

In the beginning he HATED apps!

Today the phrase ‘there’s an app for that’ is almost a worldwide running joke because there literally is almost an app for anything! So it seems bizarre that the brains behind Apple was originally opposed to having third party apps on the Apple phones. One of the board members had to call Steve 6 times just to consider the idea.

Why was Jobs against it though? He said that he ‘felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities involved in policing third-party app developers.” Of course, he eventually agreed to it!

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