Steven Jobs Dies at 56 in Palo Alto, California

A young Steven Jobs pictured with three Apple computers.

Steven Paul Jobs was born February 24, 1955 in San Francisco. Jobs died yesterday (Oct. 5, 2011) at the age of 56. He was given up for adoption by his parents, who were two University of Wisconsin graduate students. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs and grew up in Silicone Valley.

His dad taught him how to take apart electronics and then rebuild electronics. He would spend a lot of time at Hewlett-Packard during his high school years and met his future business partner Steve Wozniak during those years.

Jobs quickly tired of the college scene, dropping out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon after only six months. He then went to work as a game designer for Atari, but left that job to travel to India and dabble in psychedelic drugs.

He and Wozniak founded Apple Computers when he was 21 years old and funded their operation by him selling his Volkwagen bus and Wozniak selling his scientific computer.

They developed computers which were smaller and easier to use. Their first computers were sold for $666 each and were part of the Apple I line. They earned $774,000 from the sales of that model. Then the Apple II took off and the sales totaled $139 million three years after its release.

By 1980 the value of the company was $1.2 billion. Then came a devastating blow when Apple president John Scully phased Jobs out of Apple. He left Apple in 1985 and bought an animation company, which later would become Pixar. He then invested $50 million of his own money into Pixar. The company would make huge hits like Toy Story and Finding Nemo and the company has made $4 billion in sales.

Jobs would return to Apple in 1997 as CEO with a contract of $1 a year. He was discovered to have pancreatic cancer in 2003. That tumor was removed in 2004.

The year 2007 would see Apple stock worth $199 a share. The company also recorded a profit of 1.58 billion with $18 billion in the bank. Even more amazing was the fact the company didn’t owe any debt.

The iPod and the iTunes music downloading service account for half of the revenue earned by Apple. The iPhone and iPad have kept the Apple name at the forefront of technology today.

Jobs resigned from his job as CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011. He died about six weeks later, yesterday in Palo Alto, California.

For a more extensive biography of the life of Steven Jobs:

Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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