Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in the city of San Francisco. His biological mother was an unwed graduate student (and his biological father is said to be a political science or mathematics professor, maybe of Middle-Western descent -but this has never been confirmed).
Back in the 50s, it was unconceivable for such a young woman to raise a child on her own, so she decided to put her little baby boy up for adoption. But she insisted that the adoptive parents had to be college graduates, just like she was... This was not the case of Paul and Clara Jobs, but Steve‟s biological mother finally relented to let them her child after they promised he would be sent to college.
Paul Jobs was a midwestern farmer‟s son who had settled in the Bay Area after his war service in the USCG and married Clara in 1946. The couple decided to name their adopted child Steven Paul Jobs. Steve‟s younger sister, Patty, was adopted 3 years later.
Childhood & Teenage years
Steve was very bored in school. By his own words: "I was pretty bored in school and turned into a little terror" (Playboy Interview with David Sheff, February 1985)
But this would soon change thanks to his 4th grade teacher, Imogene “Teddy” Hill. Steve would later say about her: "She was one of the saints of my life. She taught an advanced fourth grade class, and it took her about a month to get hip to my situation. She bribed me into learning.” His skills became so apparent that the school allowed him to skip 5th grade and go straight to middle school. The problem was, the Crittenden middle school was not a nice place to be around. Steve, who felt left behind in the ambient chaos, insisted that his parents moved him to another school the next year, otherwise he would refuse to go to school altogether. The 11-year old‟s thoughtful parents bowed and moved to Los Altos in 1967, so that Steve could attend the much cozier Cupertino Junior High School.
This move is worth noting because the city of Los Altos, as well as the neighboring towns of Cupertino and Sunnyvale, distinguished themselves by the great number of engineer's garages they hosted.
A little history here. In 1957, the launch of Sputnik I by the Soviet Union rushed the US into what would later be known as the space race. Federal money was poured in the emerging electronics industry which can roughly be traced back to the invention of the transistor for which William Shockley (as well as Walter Brattain and John Bardeen) obtained the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1956. It just so happens, Shockley set up the Shock-ley Semiconductor company in the Santa Clara County, 30 miles south of San Francisco,
thus making it the world center of electronics research. The area was soon filled with engineers and young companies started to appear in their garages. Such was the case of Hewlett-Packard.
HP engineers played a major role in Steve‟s life, as they were the ones who introduced the youngster to the world of electronics. This would become his #1 hobby as he would enter Homestead High the following year. At Homestead, he attended his first electronics class and befriended Bill Fernandez, who shared his passion for electronics. Fernandez happened to know an electronics whiz, 5 years older than Steve Jobs, whose name was Steve Wozniak, but that everybody called “Woz”.
14-year old Steven Paul Jobs
Bill Fernandez and Woz, despite their differences of age, had bonded together because they were working on a project of building their own computer with spare electronics parts, which they called the “flair pen & cream soda computer”. They were so good at it that a local reporter from the San Jose Mercury News came to Bill‟s garage to interview them. Anyway, Steve took interest in the project and Bill introduced the 14-year-old Steve to his 18-year-old friend. Although they met in 1969, a real friendship between Steve and Woz started developing a couple of years later, when Woz became a...