Steve Jobs Family
Source - Steve Jobs - biography by Walter Isaacson
Jobs would say he had two sets of parents - his "real" ones, and his biological ones. Steve loved Paul and Clara Jobs.
Jobs' take on his adoption:
"Thereís some notion that because I was abandoned, I worked very hard so I could do well and make my parents wish they had me back, or some such nonsense, but thatís ridiculous," he insisted. "Knowing I was adopted may have made me feel more independent, but I have never felt abandoned. Iíve always felt special. My parents made me feel special." He would later bristle whenever anyone referred to Paul and Clara Jobs as his "adoptive" parents or implied that they were not his "real" parents. "They were my parents 1,000%," he said. When speaking about his biological parents, on the other hand, he was curt: "They were my sperm and egg bank. Thatís not harsh, itís just the way it was, a sperm bank thing, nothing more."
Steve spent a lot of time with Paul Jobs in his garage, learning about carpentry and design.
There Paul tried to pass along his love of mechanics and cars. "Steve, this is your workbench now," he said as he marked off a section of the table in their garage. Jobs remembered being impressed by his fatherís focus on craftsmanship. "I thought my dadís sense of design was pretty good," he said, "because he knew how to build anything. If we needed a cabinet, he would build it. When he built our fence, he gave me a hammer so I could work with him."
"I wasnít that into fixing cars," Jobs admitted. "But I was eager to hang out with my dad."
He had always admired his fatherís competence and savvy. "He was not an educated man, but I had always thought he was pretty damn smart. He didnít read much, but he could do a lot. Almost everything mechanical, he could figure it out." Yet the carbon microphone incident, Jobs said, began a jarring process of realizing that he was in fact more clever and quick than his parents. "It was a very big moment thatís burned into my mind. When I realized that I was smarter than my parents, I felt tremendous shame for having thought that. I will never forget that moment." This discovery, he later told friends, along with the fact that he was adopted, made him feel apartódetached and separateófrom both his family and the world.
Further comments from 1995, and the carbon microphone incident.
What were the early things you were passionate about, that you were interested in?
I was very lucky. My father, Paul, was a pretty remarkable man. He never graduated from high school. He joined the Coast Guard in World War II and ferried troops around the world for General Patton; and I think he was always getting into trouble and getting busted down to Private.
He was a machinist by trade and worked very hard and was kind of a genius with his hands. He had a workbench out in his garage where, when I was about five or six, he sectioned off a little piece of it and said "Steve, this is your workbench now." And he gave me some of his smaller tools and showed me how to use a hammer and saw and how to build things. It really was very good for me. He spent a lot of time with me . . . teaching me how to build things, how to take things apart, put things back together.
One of the things that he touched upon was electronics. He did not have a deep understanding of electronics himself but he'd encountered electronics a lot in automobiles and other things he would fix. He showed me the rudiments of electronics and I got very interested in that. I grew up in Silicon Valley. My parents moved from San Francisco to Mountain View when I was five. My dad got transferred and that was right in the heart of Silicon Valley so there were engineers all around.
Silicon Valley for the most part at that time was still orchards -- apricot orchards and prune orchards -- and it was really paradise. I remember the air being crystal clear, where you could see from one end of the valley to the other.
This was when you were six, seven, eight years old at the time?
Right. Exactly. It was really the most wonderful place in the world to grow up. There was a man who moved in down the street, maybe about six or seven houses down the block, who was new in the neighborhood with his wife, and it turned out that he was an engineer at Hewlett-Packard and a ham radio operator and really into electronics. What he did to get to know the kids in the block was rather a strange thing: He put out a carbon microphone and a battery and a speaker on his driveway where you could talk into the microphone and your voice would be amplified by the speaker. Kind of strange thing when you move into a neighborhood but that's what he did.
This is great. I of course started messing around with this. I was always taught that you needed an amplifier to amplify the voice in a microphone for it to come out in a speaker. My father taught me that. I proudly went home to my father and announced that he was all wrong and that this man up the block was amplifying voice with just a battery. My father told me that I didn't know what I was talking about and we got into a very large argument. So I dragged him down and showed him this and he himself was a little befuddled.
Steve Jobs's biological mother is Joanne Carole Simpson (Schieble)
Current Location:Santa Monica, California, USA. Currently said to be suffering from dementia.
Birthdate:August 1, 1932
Birthplace:Wisconsin, United States
Daughter of Arthur Anton Schieble and Irene Schieble. German by descent (Arthur's father born in Switzerland)
Ex-wife of George H. Simpson and Abdulfattah "John" Jandali
Mother of Steve Jobs and Mona Simpson
Steve Jobs's biological father is Abdulfattah "John" Jandali
Also Known As:"John"
Current Location::Reno, Nevada, USA
Birthdate:March 15, 1931
Birthplace:Hims, Homs Governorate, Syria
Son of Al Jandali, a self-made millionaire who did not go to college, and a mother who was a traditional housewife
Husband of Roscille C. Colburn-Jandali (born 1941)
Ex-husband of Thelma I. Jandali; Joanne Carole Simpson
Father of Steve Jobs and Mona Simpson
Occupation:Hotel & Casino Manager
Chrisann Brennan (born Oct 1954, four months older than Steve) and the mother of his daughter Lisa, notes that after Jobs was forced out of Apple, "he apologized many times over for his behavior" towards her and Lisa (born May 17, 1978). Despite the DNA showing a 94% likelihood of paternity, he had denied it for years. She also states that Jobs "said that he never took responsibility when he should have, and that he was sorry". By this time, Jobs had developed a strong relationship with Lisa and when she was nine, Jobs had her name on her birth certificate changed from "Lisa Brennan" to "Lisa Brennan-Jobs". In addition, Jobs and Brennan managed to develop a somewhat volatile (according to the "Steve Jobs" movie) but still a working relationship to co-parent Lisa, a change Brennan credits to the influence of his newly found biological sister, Mona Simpson (who worked to repair the relationship between Lisa and Jobs). Jobs found Mona in 1986, after first finding his birth mother, Joanne Schieble Simpson. It was the year following the year he left Apple, in September 1985.
In the early 1980s Jobs had found on his birth certificate the name of the San Francisco doctor to whom Schieble had turned when she was pregnant. He had given the doctor a phone call, and although he did not help Jobs at the time, saying the records had been destroyed in a fire, he left a letter for Jobs to be opened upon his death. He died shortly after and Jobs was sent the letter from his widow, which stated that "his mother had been an unmarried graduate student from Wisconsin named Joanne Schieble".
Jobs did not contact his birth family during his adoptive mother Clara's lifetime. He would later tell his official biographer Walter Isaacson: "I never wanted [Paul and Clara] to feel like I didn't consider them my parents, because they were totally my parents [...]" In 1986 when Jobs was 31, Clara was diagnosed with lung cancer, and died shortly after, but not before Jobs began to spend a great deal of time with her and learned more details about her background and his adoption.
Jobs contacted Schieble after Clara died and after he received permission from his father, Paul. Also out of respect for Paul, he asked the media not to report on his search. Jobs stated that he was motivated to find his birth mother out of both curiosity and a need "to see if she was okay and to thank her, because I'm glad I didn't end up as an abortion. She was twenty-three and she went through a lot to have me." Schieble was emotional during their first meeting, she'd known he was rich and famous though she wasn't familiar with the history of Apple or Jobs's role in it. She told him that she had been pressured into signing the adoption papers. Her family was Catholic, Jandali (Steve's father) was Muslim. She said that she regretted giving him up and repeatedly apologized to him for it. Jobs and Schieble would develop a friendly relationship throughout the rest of his life and would spend Christmas together.
During this first visit, Schieble told Jobs that he had a sister, Mona Simpson, who was not aware that she had a brother. Schieble then arranged for them to meet in New York where Mona worked, where in fact Mona was about to publish a best-selling novel with "broad similarities" to her childhood, "Anywhere but Here", a book that later became a movie with Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman. Mona's first impression of Jobs back in 1986 was that "he was totally straightforward and lovely, just a normal and sweet guy." Simpson and Jobs then went for a long walk to get to know each other. Jobs later told his biographer that "Mona was not completely thrilled at first to have me in her life and have her mother so emotionally affectionate toward me . . . . As we got to know each other, we became really good friends, and she is my family. I don't know what I'd do without her. I can't imagine a better sister. My adopted sister Patty (who had also been adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs) and I were never close."
Mona Simpson continued "I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not-yet-furnished apartment) and help us. Later, after I'd met my father, I tried to believe he'd changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people. Even as a feminist, my whole life I'd been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I'd thought that man would be my father. When I was 25 (actually it was 29), I met that man, and he was my brother."
Jobs then learned his family history. Six months after he was given up for adoption, in 1955, Schieble's father died, Schieble wed Jandali, and they had a daughter, Mona (born June 14, 1957).
However, after Jandali finished his PhD he returned to Syria to work, and they divorced in 1962, with Schieble and Mona returning to America. According to Jandali in 2011, after the divorce he lost contact with Mona for a period of time: "I also bear the responsibility for being away from my daughter when she was four years old, as her mother divorced me when I went to Syria, but we got back in touch after 10 years. We lost touch again when her mother moved and I didn't know where she was, but since 10 years ago (since 2001) we've been in constant contact, and I see her three times a year. I organized a trip for her last year to visit Syria and Lebanon and she went with a relative from Florida".
Back to Mona's story. A few years later (after that divorce in 1962), Schieble married an ice skating teacher, George Simpson. Mona Jandali took her stepfather's last name and thus became Mona Simpson. However, in 1970 Schieble and Simpson divorced, Schieble took Mona to Los Angeles, and raised her on her own.
Jobs told his official biographer that after meeting Simpson in 1986, he wanted to become involved in her ongoing search for their father. When he was found working in Sacramento, they decided that only Simpson would meet him. Jandali and Simpson spoke for several hours at which point he told her that he had left teaching for the restaurant business. He also said that he and Schieble had given another child away for adoption but that "we'll never see that baby again. That baby's gone." Simpson did not mention that she had met Jobs.
Jandali further told Simpson that he once managed a much larger Mediterranean restaurant near San Jose and that "all of the successful technology people used to come there. Even Steve Jobs ... oh yeah, he used to come in, and he was a sweet guy and a big tipper." After hearing about the visit, Jobs recalled that "it was amazing .... I had been to that restaurant a few times, and I remember meeting the owner. He was Syrian. Balding. We shook hands." However, Jobs did not want to meet Jandali because "I was a wealthy man by then, and I didn't trust him not to try to blackmail me or go to the press about it ... I asked Mona not to tell him about me." Simpson fictionalized the search for their father in the 1992 novel, The Lost Father.
Jandali later discovered his relationship to Jobs through an online blog, in 2005. He then contacted Simpson and asked "what is this thing about Steve Jobs?" Simpson told him that it was true and later commented, "My father is thoughtful and a beautiful storyteller, but he is very, very passive ... He never **contacted Steve." Because Simpson, herself, researched her Syrian roots and began to meet members of the family, she assumed that Jobs would eventually want to meet their father, but he never did. Jobs also never showed an interest in his Syrian heritage or the Middle East.
** Not strictly true, in an interview with saudigazette.com in 2011, Jandali said "I donít have a close relationship with him. I send him a message on his birthday, but neither of us has made overtures to come closer to the other. I tend to think that if he wants to spend time with me he knows where I am and how to get hold of me".
In 1989, Jobs met his future wife, Laurene Powell, when he gave a lecture at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was a student. Soon after the event, he stated that Laurene "was right there in the front row in the lecture hall, and I couldn't take my eyes off of her ... kept losing my train of thought, and started feeling a little giddy." After the lecture, Jobs met up with her in the parking lot and invited her out to dinner. From that point forward, they were together, with a few minor exceptions, for the rest of his life.
Powell's father had died when she was very young, and her mother raised her in a middle class New Jersey home similar to the one Jobs grew up in. After she received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, she spent a short period in high finance but found it didn't interest her, so she decided to pursue her MBA at Stanford instead. In addition, unlike Jobs, she was athletic and followed professional sports. She also brought as much self-sufficiency to the relationship as he did and was more of a private than public person.
Jobs proposed on New Year's Day 1990 with "a fistful of freshly picked wildflowers". They married on March 18, 1991, in a Buddhist ceremony at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. Jobs's and Powell's first child, Reed, was born September 1991. Jobs's father, Paul, died a year and a half later, on March 5, 1993. Jobs and Powell had two more children, Erin, born in August 1995, and Eve, born in 1998. The family lived in Palo Alto, California.
Jobs died in 2011, a result of a pancreatic tumour back in 2003 that he'd left untreated for 9 months (apart from some herbal treatment, a psychic meeting and fasts). The pancreas is responsible for blood sugar regulation, also digestion. And after the operation in 2004, his body never properly recovered. He later admitted his regret at not having the operation earlier.
About Steve Jobs's biological parents, about meeting his biological sister, Mona, and Steve reconciling with his first daughter, Lisa.
** End of account