Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs reveals that the Apple co-founder was given up for adoption by his biological parents, American Joanne Schieble and Syrian-born Abdulfattah "Jonh" Jandali. The couple had another child together, a daughter named Mona Simpson. Though Schieble and Jandali eventually separated, Schieble raised her daughter herself.
Jobs would become one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs, and Simpson would become a novelist celebrated for works such as "Anywhere But Here" and "Off Keck Road." Simpson would even write a fictionalized version of her brother's life, titled "A Regular Guy." But according to Isaacson's biography, neither sibling knew the other existed in their youth.
Jobs and Simpson first met in 1986, after 31-year-old Jobs reunited with his biological mother. According to Isaacson's biography of Jobs, their mother arranged the meeting between the siblings.
Mona recounted to Isaacson her first encounter with Jobs. "He was totally straightforward and lovely, just a a normal and sweet guy," she said, according to a copy of the biography purchased by The Huffington Post.
The two quickly became close, based on Isaacson's telling.
In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. He initially refused traditional treatments, Isaacson reveals in his biography of the Apple co-founder, and Jobs' delay may have allowed the cancer to spread from his pancreas to the surrounding organs. When Jobs finally received a liver transplant in 2009, his sister was one of only three people, including Jobs' wife Lisa Powell, invited to his bedside as he recovered from the procedure.
Mona Simpson was also at Jobs' side when he passed away on October 5, 2011.
In a stirring eulogy delivered at Jobs' memorial, held at Standford University's Memorial Church on October 16, Simpson revealed the last words Jobs uttered mere hours before he died. Her tribute to her brother was reprinted by the New York Times on October 30. According to the Times' printed version, Simpson said Jobs had been looking at the members of his family, gathered around his bed, when he gazed past them and said," OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW."
The Wall Street Journal noticed a parallel between Jobs' final words and those of inventor Thomas Edison. Writes the Journal, "[Before his death,] Edison emerged from a coma, opened his eyes, looked upwards and said 'It is very beautiful over there.' [...] Which may be another way of saying 'Oh wow.'"
According to Simpson's eulogy, Jobs seemed to be working toward a goal during his final hours before death.
"Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it," she said, per the Times.
Reports CNET, Jobs worked until the day before he died. His final project may have been the next-generation iPhone, unofficially dubbed the iPhone 5. "[The future handset] was the last project that Steve Jobs was intimately involved with from concept to final design," said Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, according to CNET.
Masayoshi Son, CEO of Apple partner Softbank, relayed a similar report to PCMag. "Even one day before he passed away, the first subject he wanted to call Tim Cook about…he wanted to talk about the next product," said Son.
Despite his vehement work ethic, Mona Simpson's eulogy also recalled a man who "treasured happiness" and "had a lot of fun" with his family.
And yet, not every member of Jobs' family was welcomed into Jobs' inner circle.
Long before Jobs' death, Simpson tracked down their biological father in California, where he managed a small restaurant. Though Jobs refused to meet Jandali, Simpson went to see him. She told biographer Isaacson that they spoke about the son that Jandali had given up for adoption. "We'll never see that baby again," he said, according to Isaacson. And though Simpson didn't tell her father that the baby was Steve Jobs, she came to find out that the pair had actually met unawares.
Jandali told her about another restaurant he had managed in Silicon Valley. "That was a wonderful place," Jandali said of the restaurant, per Isaacson's book. "All of the successful technology people used to come there. Even Steve Jobs."
Jobs even told Isaacson that he recalled meeting the man who turned out to be his father, but said that he had no desire to connect with him. "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."
Jandali eventually learned the identity of his son, but the two never met face-to-face again, even when Jandali tried reaching out to Jobs after learning of Jobs' illness. "I don't know why I emailed," Jandali told the Wall Street Journal shortly after Jobs passed away. "I guess because I felt bad when I heard about the health situation. He had his life and I had my life, and we were not in contact. If I talked to him, I don't know what I would have said to him."
A coroner's report stated that Jobs' death was caused by complications from a metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor.
Visit the New York Times to read Mona Simpson's entire eulogy to Steve Jobs.
Take a look at the slideshow (below) to see the most surprising facts about Steve Jobs from Walter Isaacson's biography.
"Executek," "Matrix," "Personal Computers Inc." were among the names Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak considered for their company, writes Isaacson. Jobs proposed "Apple" after returning from a visit to All One Farm where he had helped tend for the apple trees. "I was on one of my fruitarian diets," Jobs told Isaacson. "I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited, and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word 'computer.'"
According to Isaacson, during a "late-night phone conversation," President Bill Clinton asked Jobs how he should deal with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. "I don't know if you did it, but if so, you've got to tell the country," Jobs told Clinton. The president was silent on the other end of the line, Isaacson writes.
According to Isaacson, Jobs' signature black turtleneck was initially inspired by a visit in the early '80s to a Sony factory in Japan, where the Apple co-founder noticed that all of the employees wore uniforms. Jobs liked the concept: he suggested Apple employees might likewise embrace a dress code of sorts and worked with Japanese designer Issey Miyake to design vests for his employees -- who nixed the idea. But Jobs "came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, because of both its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style," writes Isaacson. Jobs, who had befriended Miyake, asked the designer to make him "some of the black turtlenecks that I liked." The designer complied, and Jobs' trademark look was born. Prior to this, Jobs had favored white shirts and jeans, former Apple employee Jay Elliot told the Huffington Post.
Jobs was a supporter of Obama's -- he offered to help the president with his ads for the 2012 campaign -- but Jobs told Isaacson he was "disappointed in Obama" who was "having trouble leading because he's reluctant to offend people or piss them off." "You're headed for a one-term presidency," Jobs told Obama during a forty-five minute meeting between the two men. Jobs argued that the president's administration needed to be more friendly toward business and more aggressive in reforming the nation's education system.
As Isaacson noted in both his biography and during an interview with 60 Minutes, Jobs initially refused to undergo what could have been a life-saving surgery to treat his pancreatic cancer. For months, Jobs instead opted to treat the cancer with other, non-invasive therapies, including unusual diets, herbal remedies, and acupuncture. "The big thing was that he really was not ready to open his body," Jobs' wife Laurene Powell explained. Powell did attempt to talk her husband into the surgery. "The body exists to serve the spirit," she told Jobs.
The thousands of applications available on iTunes have become a defining feature for Apple and have earned developers billions of dollars. Jobs, however, initially opposed the idea of offering third-party apps. Art Levinson, a member of Apple's board, recalled phoning Jobs "half a dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps." Isaacson writes that Jobs "at first quashed the discussion, partly because he felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities that would be involved in policing third-party app developers."
Though iPad has been an unqualified success for Apple, the initial reaction to the tablet was lukewarm at best. People mocked its name, dismissed it as little more than an overgrown iPod touch, and speculated that it could be Apple's second Newton--a big, giant flop. "I kind of got depressed today. It knocks you back a bit," Jobs told Isaacson the night after he unveiled the iPad.
Isaacson writes that Jobs enjoyed asking job candidates "offbeat" questions to test their ability to think on their feet and gauge whether they had the right personality mix to succeed at Apple. The author recounts how on one occasion, Jobs began peppering a potential hire, who was "too uptight and conventional," with unusual questions -- and even interrupted his answers with "Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble." "How old were you when you lost your virginity?" Jobs asked. He continued, "Are you a virgin?" adding, "How many times have you taken LSD?"
Isaacson's biography lays bare some of the animosity Jobs reportedly felt toward Google following its launch of Android. Jobs described Android as a "grand theft" that stole from the iPhone. "Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google you f***ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off,'" Jobs told Isaacson in a conversation about a patent lawsuit Apple had filed. "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product." "I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this," Jobs added.
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