He is said to have launched the age of the PC (personal computers). He revolutionised six industries personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing. Steve Jobs made machines and gadgets small, cheap, and accessible.
Steven Paul Jobs was born in 1955, in San Francisco, the U.S. to Joanne Schieble, a Swiss-American, and Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian immigrant. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, and raised in the Bay area, which later began to be called the Silicon Valley.
A prankster in school, he was a handful for the teachers as he was not one for formal education. Twelve-year-old Steven called William Hewlett, asking for parts so he could complete a school project. Hewlett was impressed with his knowledge and offered him a summer job. The young genius found himself spending the summer at the HP factory, assembling frequency counters.
Jobs dropped out of college. In 1976, his friend Wozniak invented the first Apple I computer. Jobs, Wozniak and Ronald Wayne set up Apple Computers, and the rest is history.
The name Apple came from the apple orchards in the All One Farm commune in Oregon that Jobs had attended. Jobs and Wozniak raised $1,300 as startup money by selling their Volkswagen mini bus and calculator respectively. The next year, the duo came up with Apple II and it sold two million units worldwide, quickly making Jobs famous and wealthy. His net worth was $ 250 million and he was barely 25. As Apple grew, Jobs, brought in the CEO of Pepsi Cola, John Sculley. Jobs is said to have asked him if he wished to spend the rest of his life selling sugared water.
He wanted Macintosh, a personal computer, to be not merely great but insanely great. In January 1984, Jobs introduced the Mac in a brilliantly choreographed demonstration. Years on, it came to be shown as the archetype of event marketing. Mac was the first successful home computer to use a graphical user interface, and the on-screen display had small pictures called icons.
In 1985, following a long power struggle with Sculley, Jobs had to leave his own company. He started a new company called NeXT and another company called Pixar, that went on to create the first computer-animated film, Toy Story. Later, Pixar merged with Disney and Jobs was Disneys largest shareholder.
Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned to Apple, first as consultant and then as the head of the company. In 2007, Apple entered the mobile phone market with the iPhone. Next year saw the company becoming the second biggest music retailer in the U.S., second only to Walmart.
Steve Jobs was fond of and loyal to his adopted parents. He was 31 when Clara Jobs died and he eventually met Joanne Schieble, his birth mother who had never heard of Apple! Since then, mother and son spent every Christmas together.
Jobs married Laurene Powell and had three children Reed, Erin and Eve. In 2003, he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.
When he died at 56 in 2011, he held nearly 350 patents, 200 of which he shares with Apple design chief Jonathan Ives. Even the glass staircases found in many Apple stores were patented by him.