10 Things You Might Not Know About Steve Jobs

By Spencer Hart on at

Steve Jobs, the man, the myth, the legend, is either universally admired or hated (or, a little bit of both). For a time, he was the most famous man in the tech world, and his life has spawned not one, but two mediocre films.

Today, as you will know if you are semi-obsessive about now-deceased company CEOs, marks five years since Jobs's death. To remember, here are 10 interesting facts about the Apple co-founder's life:

1. Jobs was half Syrian, half American, and adopted at birth

Steve Jobs’ biological parents Abdulfattah "John" Jandal and Joanne Schieble Simpson became pregnant at the age of 23. Simpson’s father forbade the two from marrying, and due to the stigma surrounding single motherhood at the time, the two decided to put Steve up for adoption. [Image Credit: Parenting]

2. While travelling around India, Jobs experimented with LSD

Steve Jobs spent seven months travelling around India, experimenting with psychedelic drugs and practising Zen Buddhism. Jobs said experimenting with LSD was "one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life”. Maybe that’s why iOS 7 was so colourful? [Image Credit: Alex Gorzen Flickr]

3. Although he dropped out of college, Jobs continued to attend calligraphy classes

Jobs is one of the most famous college dropouts, but he actually continued his education by auditing classes (taking them without receiving the credits). One class Jobs attended was calligraphy, which he claims was instrumental to the future Apple’s attention to typography and font. Did we hear someone say Helvetica? [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

4. Jobs stole $4,650 from Steve Wozniak

When Jobs and Wozniak first developed Breakout for Atari, they agreed on splitting the pay 50/50. Atari gave Jobs $5,000 for the game, but Jobs lied and told Wozniak he only got paid $700 for the gig, leaving Wozniak with $350, while Jobs took home the other $4,650. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

5. After being pushed out of Apple, Steve Jobs bought Pixar

Jobs was shown the door in 1985, and this time away from Apple gave him an opportunity to purchase an animation studio, which later became Pixar. He remained a major shareholder in that company until his death, even after rejoining Apple as CEO in 1997. [Image Credit: Pixar Wikia]

6. Jobs was paid an annual salary of $1 while at Apple

Don’t worry though, he also had 5.5 million shares of Apple stock and was the majority shareholder of Disney stock. So it’s safe to say he wasn’t exactly destitute. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

7. Jobs was a pescetarian, meaning he didn't eat meat except fish

Job's diet is actually where the company name, Apple, came from. When he was fruitarian (yes, that's a real thing), he visited an apple farm, and thought the name sounded "fun, spirited and not intimidating". [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

8. The Apple Lisa was named after Jobs’s illegitimate daughter (or is it?)

Jobs had an illegitimate daughter when he was 23, named Lisa Brennan. He denied his paternity for years, but eventually did accept Lisa as his legitimate child. Around the time Lisa was born, Apple released the ‘Apple Lisa’, although Jobs claims this simply stood for Local Integrated Software Architecture. We’ll let you decide! [Image Credit: MacWorld]

9. Jobs always drove a Mercedes without a number plate

How did Jobs get away with never putting a number plate on his Merc? Well, in California a car owner is given six months to put plates on a new car, so Steve just bought an identical car every six months. Problem solved. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

10. He made Google change the yellow gradient in its "O"

Talk about an infamous attention to detail, one day, Steve called the former VP of Google, Vic Gundotra, and told him that the second O in Google was the wrong shade of yellow, and that it should be changed. [Image Credit: Wikipedia]

Top image: Stefan Holm / Shutterstock.com


This post was originally published in October, 2014, and has been republished to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Jobs's death.