Before his death, Steve Jobs was named the most powerful person in business. However, his upbringing was with a lower-middle-class family.
Steve Jobs grew up in San Francisco, California. He was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs right after his birth. When Steve was four-years-old, the family moved to the Monta Loma neighborhood in Mountain View, California. Due to severe bullying when Steve was ten, the family moved to Los Altos, California, the future Silicon Valley and home where Jobs created the first Apple computer.
Scroll down to read more about the adoption battle over the baby Steve Jobs, his time growing up in Mountain View, and his family’s move to Los Altos.
Adoptive Custody Battle for Baby Steve Jobs
The book Chosen for Greatness: How Adoption Changes the World by Paul Batura highlights the entire story behind the adoption of Steve Jobs when he was a baby. The first few chapters can be found on Daly Focus.
In the 1950s a young graduate student by the name of Joanne Carole Schieble and a Ph. D. candidate named Abdulfattah Jandali fell in love while both were attending the University of Wisconsin. Jandali was Schieble’s teaching assistant.
The two began a relationship but Joanne’s strict Catholic family was highly against the idea of their daughter dating a man who was an immigrant from Syria. The big issue for them was that he was also Muslim.
Schieble went on a trip with Jandali to visit his family in Syria in the summer of 1954. In her parent’s outrage at the relationship, they told her that they would cut off her financial support if she continued to see Jandali.
It was a little too late for that though because Joanne had become pregnant with Jandali’s child while in Syria. When she returned to the United States and discovered the pregnancy, she told no one.
Schieble moved to San Francisco for the entirety of her pregnancy and arranged for her baby to be adopted. Her only stipulation was that the adoptive parents must be college-educated.
When she gave birth to Steve, the original couple who was to take her baby backed out because it was a boy.
Clara and Paul Jobs were then lined up to adopt baby Steve, but when Scheible found out neither was college-educated, she tried to take her baby back. She only allowed them to keep him after they agreed to pay for his college education.
Scheible moved back to Wisconsin and she did eventually marry Jandali despite her parent’s wishes. They had another child, Mona Simpson, who is Steve’s biological sister.
You can watch Steve Jobs in the below video talk about his adoption in his famous 2005 Stanford University commencement speech.
Jobs’ Rough Time in Mountain View
Steve’s father, Paul Jobs, was a machinist who loved to rebuild cars. From a young age, Paul said that his son was a genius with his hands, picking up everything that his father taught him about tinkering with machines.
It was Steve’s dad that taught him about electronics and the two would often go out on the weekend to try and find spare parts for their projects. While his life at home was full of love and support, Steve ran into issues at school and with other kids.
Multiple times in the past, Jobs has stated that he would often get bored in his classes and he would act out due to his boredom. Because of this, he had a hard time making friends and considered himself a loner.
When he entered the fourth grade, he was placed in an advanced learning class where his teacher, Imogen Hill, helped to foster a love of learning in young Jobs. He skipped the fifth grade and entered the sixth grade at a new school, Crittenden Middle School.
He was bullied by the other students mercilessly and his parents moved the family to Los Altos for a new start.
Steve Jobs New Start in Los Altos
Living in the ranch-style home on Crist Drive in Los Altos, Steve’s childhood became brighter because he was away from his bullies. He soon befriended the many engineers and machinists who also lived in the neighborhood.
It was actually in the garage of this new home that Steve would found and build the first Apple computer alongside his best friend from Homestead High School, Steve Wozniak.
Due to Homestead High’s heavy ties to Silicon Valley, Steve was given ample opportunity to continue pursuing his love of electronics and the rest is history.