Memories of a Lifetime: 2001-2005

Grandson Mark Geisel who was born one day after my birthday.

 

2001 – Mark Geisel was born on October 15, 2001 in Sulphur, Louisiana, while his father was the manager at the Domino’s Pizza place in Sulphur.  Mark has done very well in school and loves to read. He plays goalie and other positions on his soccer team. His red hair goes back a long way in family history. My mom had a red-headed brother, that was born in the 1920’s or 1930’s. My mom had two red-headed sons and a red-headed daughter and a daughter with auburn hair. I was the black sheep of the family with black hair.

We moved to Gibbons Street about this time and then moved to Linda Drive later that year in the Kingsville area.

September 11, 2001 – A day that will live in infamy.

 

September 11, 2001 was a day that none of us will forget. I had called the mechanic that morning checking on our car in his shop. He asked me if I had the television on and that is when I found out about the horrific events of that day. The memory of those planes slamming into the twin towers of the World Trade Center will forever be ingrained in my memory.

I couldn’t comprehend how four planes could be hijacked the same morning and that day let us know how lax our airport security was at the time. The nation was in chaos at the time, with aircraft being grounded all over the country. It was eerie hearing about passengers on these planes talking to loved ones, on their cell phones telling, about the horrors of what they were experiencing and then knowing those same people on the cell phones died a violent death minutes later.

It is difficult to believe that September 11 of this year will be the 12th anniversary of that horrific day.

The “War on Terrorism” begins with the invasion of Afghanistan.

Dale Earnhardt dies during a crash in the last lap of the Daytona 500.

Richard Reid known as the “shoe bomber” attempted to blow up an American Airlines plane.

The first iPod was released and Wikipedia was launched on the internet.

The average rent jumped $40 from $675 in 2000 to $715 in 2001. The price of a gallon of gas jumped from $1.26 in 2000 to $1.41 in 2001. A loaf of bread cost $1.82.

2002 – My favorite memory of this year was the 40th class reunion of Pineville High School. I had never attended a reunion until 2002. If I was scheduled to work on the day of reunion, then I would usually work, but this year I made sure I had that week off, so I could attend. It was great seeing classmates from the 1962 class, for the first time in many years. I hadn’t run into some of them even though they had never left Pineville. The saddest part of the reunion was when the members of our class that had passed on were mentioned in a Power Point presentation, with Duane Yates singing the Lord’s Prayer in the background. Sadly Duane died before our 50th reunion in 2012. Seeing the teachers and students from 1962 again made this a special time in my life.

The price of gasoline escalated to $1.61 a gallon, a 36 cent a gallon rise since the $1.26 gasoline of 2000, which was two years earlier.

 

2003 – This turned out to be the last full year that I worked at the Alexandria Town Talk newspaper. The paper was never the same, after it was acquired by the Gannett Corporation. The Christmas bonus we had received while the paper was owned by the Smith family and the Central Newspapers chain was the first thing to go, under the auspices of the Gannett mega corporation. That $150 we had received each Christmas was now a thing of the past, as was the free newspapers for employees.

Iraq is invaded on March 19 by the United States military.

Saddam Hussein is captured by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.

Gasoline prices jumped to 1.83, a jump of 57 cents a gallon since 2000.

 

2004 – My 36 years at Town Talk and 38 years in newspaper production ended in 2004, when I retired with my last day of work being Halloween night. I spent most of my working life at Town Talk. In fact it was my first job after returning from Vietnam in 1966. I had seen my pay go from $1.40 an hour in 1966 to $13.50 an hour in 2004. Still I never took home more than $28,000 in any year, that I worked for the Town Talk.

We had a traumatic event  this year when my stepson Justin was sleeping in the den and was woken by a burglar, who was rifling through cabinets and drawers, while looking for painkillers. Neither Justin or the burglar knew anyone else was in the house. Thankfully, Justin thought the burglar was a relative, who told Justin he was taking stuff because his mom owed him money.

A few days before the burglary a man had knocked on our door and wanted to know if anyone lived in the trailer next door. Evidently, he was casing the house and had a timeline of when my wife Rhonda and me would be at work. Anyway he had left, about 30 minutes before I arrived home from work that night.

Justin followed him from room to room and the burglar told him to tell his mom, that he would return the next night. The burglar did have an encounter with our cat, when the cat bit him and the burglar said “ouch”. The burglar would be later caught due to his own stupidity. He overdosed and the paramedics noticed painkillers all over his trailer, which included some painkillers my wife had in our house, after having major surgery. He lived only about five houses up the street from us and was arrested for burglary and sent to prison.

Facebook was launched in 2004 and was originally only for students at Harvard University.

Strongest earthquake in 40 years hits near Indonesia and the earthquake and resulting tsunami would take 290,000 lives.

Martha Stewart is convicted of felony and sentenced to five years in prison.

Gasoline continued to skyrocket to $2.10 an increase of 84 cents a gallon from the year 2000. Oil peaked at $50 a barrel in 2004.

 

2005 – I returned to work in 2005, when I was hired as a caregiver by Louisiana Community Care in Ball, Louisiana. Sometimes I would start a shift at 8PM and would finish the shift at 8:30 AM the next morning. It wasn’t hard work, but it was detail work, that required a set schedule of administering medicine. I found out later in Tennessee, that anyone administering medicine in Tennessee was required to take a course and pass a test to give meds to a client. However, Louisiana required no certification to give meds. I was giving meds my first night. There was a voluntary meds certification, but it wasn’t required at this time.

Later that year I went to work for Plasti-Pak in Kingsville area and I learned how much work is involved with factory work. I operated a box making machine for Procter and Gamble products the first night there. We went to work at 6:45 PM and the shift would end at 7:15 the next morning, so we would get a full 12 hours per shift, with a half hour break to eat. It was tiring and exhausting work and dangerous work. I back over my foot with a hand truck, which resulted in losing two toenails. I bought steel-toed boots the next day. It was a temp job with Westaff and the job played out soon and I was one of first laid off, since I was one of the last ones hired.

Then I went to work for Coastal Culvert operating out of Eunice, Louisiana. It was the easiest job of my life, after working the hardest job of my life at Plasti-Pak. My job was to be the manager of a new Alexandria branch for the company. My main job was to check inventory of the culvert pipes outside the office. I had to call the Eunice office each morning, to verify I was at work. Then I would read the paper, listen to old-time radio shows or watch Andy Griffith shows on the DVD player till it was time to go home that afternoon. The job lasted from November till February of 2006, before they decided to close down the Alexandria office, since there was little to no business.

I can’t say enough good things about the Coastal Culvert executives. They invited me to their annual Christmas dinner and they gave me a $100 Christmas bonus, even though I had been there less than a month.

Some of the damage from Hurricane Katrina seen the day after.

The major event of 2005 in Louisiana is when Hurricane Katrina hit the southern coast of Louisiana and a break in the levee resulted in 80 percent of New Orleans being flooded. 1,577 died from Katrina in Louisiana. Many New Orleans residents waited five days for food and  water to arrive in the city. It was a colossal case of bad planning by government officials, who let people go for days without food or water.

Katrina didn’t cause much damage in Alexandria-Pineville area, but Hurricane Rita was a different story as many trees fell on houses in the area, with fallen trees closing roads.

Lance Armstrong won an amazing seventh Tour de France championship, as he demonstrated how he could live better through chemistry.

Video gamers saw the Microsoft X-Box 360 launched in 2005.

The price of gasoline climbed to $3.18 in 2005 an increase of almost $2 a gallon from the $1.26 price of 2000.

 

 

 

 

Memories of a Lifetime: 1996-2000

1996 – The Smith family sold the Town Talk to Central Newspapers for $62 million

The minimum wage was raised to $5.15, which was an improvement over the $1.40 minimum wage of 1966, when I was hired by the Town Talk.

March 13, 1996 – A gunman killed a teacher and 16 five and six-year-old children in Dunblane Scotland, which was eerily similar to the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut 16 years later in 2012.

Bomb explodes during 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ebay starts their auction website 17 years ago.

Gas cost $1.22 a gallon, which is about $2 a gallon cheaper than the $3.25 gasoline of today. A driver could save about $40 a fill-up in 1996 compared to 2013 prices, for a 20 gallon purchase.

Bread cost $1.15 a loaf.

1997 – Was chosen to be song leader at College Drive Baptist Church in Pineville, Louisiana and would remain in that position, till we moved to Tennessee in 2007.  I want to thank Rev. Charles Harrell and Paul Bonnette for letting me lead the singing during those years. I also want to thank Mrs. Frances Faulk for being the pianist most of those years. She had played for Governor Jimmie Davis for many years.

One of the major stories of 1997 was when Princess Diana was killed in a car accident 16 years ago. Mother Theresa also died in 1997 at the age of 87.

Microsoft became the most valuable company in the world and was valued at $261 billion.

Woolworth closes their last discount stores in 1997.

A gallon of gasoline remained steady holding at the $1.22 price of 1996. A pound of hamburger meat cost $1.38. Average rent climbed to $576 and a movie ticket cost $4.59.

 

1998 – Had a very short marriage in 1998 to a con artist, who left town with my credit cards and checkbook and our marriage license, plus ran my phone bill up to over $1,000 making calls to her boyfriend in Florida. The less said about her the better. Found out she had disappeared when I returned from family reunion in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and found the huge telephone bill waiting for me in the mailbox.

Think this was the summer that was so hot, that temperatures over 100 were common that summer. After not using the air conditioner since May of 1992, I was forced to plug-in the air conditioner, because of the extreme heat.

A gallon of gasoline dropped to $1.15 a drop of seven cents from the 1997 price.

Grocery Prices of 1998:

Loaf of bread – $1.26

Pound of bacon – $2.53

Pound of hamburger meat – $1.40

Dozen eggs – 88 cents

Average rent skyrocketed to $619 a month.

Grandson Matthew ready to travel to All Star game while playing for Ward 10 in Tioga a few years ago.

 

1999 – My first grandson Matthew Geisel was born on February 19, 1999 at Rapides Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana to my daughter Debbie and son-in-law George. Matthew will be 14 next month and has done well in sports at the middle school in Groves, Texas and has played baseball in the Little League and Babe Ruth League. This will be his 11th season of youth baseball and he hopes to make the Port Neches – Groves high school team in 2014.  He has played football, basketball and track while in middle school. He played quarterback for the Groves Middle School 8th grade team. Matthew had runs of 18 and 50 yards in the game and totaled over 100 yards in the game. He played linebacker on defense and scooped up a fumble, while returning it to the end zone for a touchdown. Groves won the game 8-0 due to his fumble TD return.

Met my future wife Rhonda on the internet in 1999 and we would be married in 2000.

Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France. We will never know if he could have won without steroids, because steroids were an integral part of his training regimen.

Two boys 17 and 18 kill 15 in the Columbine school shooting in 1999.

Mattel’s Barbie Doll turns 40.

MySpace, Napster and Bluetooth came into existence in 1999 and all are 14 years old now.

Average rent continues to skyrocket to $645 after topping out at $619 in 1998.

The cost of a gallon rises seven cents as it  returns to the $1.22 price of 1996 and 1997.

Grocery Prices of 1999:

Pound of bacon – $2.59

Ground coffee – $3.41 a pound

Loaf of bread – $1.49

Dozen eggs – 89 cents

 

2000 – Married Rhonda on February 18, 2000 in College Drive Baptist Church by Rev. W.E.Efferson. We will have been married for 13 years on our anniversary in February. We would live on Burns Street in Pineville till we moved to Gibbons Street the following year.

Lifespan in United States in 2000 is 77.5 years.

President Bush would win the 2000 Presidential election, due to few hanging chads here and there. Democratic candidate Sen. Albert Gore polled 543,000 more popular votes, but lost the election by five electoral votes.

2000 was the year that dot-com bubble burst, as tech speculators lost thousands of dollars on companies that went bust.

Y2K starts with no serious problems.

Barrel of crude  oil tops $30 a barrel, while a gallon of gas rises to $1.26 a four cent increase, over the 1999 price.

Average rent prices escalated to $675 a year. Average rent had been $619 in 1998 and $645 in 1999, so prices had increased  $56 a month in two years time.

Grocery Prices of 2000:

Pound of bacon – $2.97

Ground coffee – $3.44 a pound.

Loaf of bread – $1.72

Dozen eggs – 89 cents

 

 

Memories of a Lifetime: 1991-1995

1991 – Visited my sister Jane and her family during the summer of 1991 in Pueblo, Colorado. My son Kenny and brother Tom also were on the trip.  My brother Daniel drove us up Pike’s Peak and will never forget how cold it was at the top. The brakes overheated on the way down, so had to let them cool off a few minutes.

Driving through Raton Pass with an altitude of 7,834 in a four-cylinder Toyota was not easy as we gained altitude. Enjoyed the time with my sister and her family while in Colorado. Jane is an executive with the Pueblo Library and we had the chance to visit the library.

911 emergency number was being tested during the year and the airbag was invented. Gasoline was being sold for $1.12 a gallon.

1992 – This was a sad year as my 22 year marriage to Elaine ended, with her moving back to Texarkana, Arkansas. Had to file bankruptcy after she left, so I could pay bills. It would be the first of six years with no air conditioning. We had one, just never used it, since had to choose between air conditioning and eating and eating won that battle. Ate cheese sandwiches most of the time and can’t remember going out to eat during this time.

With the Town Talk garnishing my wages to pay the bankruptcy and paying child support there was little money left for anything, but the bare necessities of life.

The divorce was finalized and it was sad to spend Christmas without the family for the first time since 1972, the year when Steve was born.

Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992 and Miley Cyrus was born and will be 21 in November of 2013.  The cost of gasoline dropped from $1.12 in 1991 to $1.05 in 1992.

1993 – Flew to Knoxville, Tennessee this year with the financial assistance of my brother, to be present when Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee honored my dad by naming a chemistry laboratory after him. Enjoyed hearing his students and others tell of my dad’s contributions to the Chemistry department at Tusculum. Then they served a dinner in his honor, which capped off a great evening.

My daughter Debbie missed by one word of making the National Spelling Bee in 1993. I was there that night in my alma mater Pineville High School auditorium, as she battled round after round before misspelling the final word.

I don’t handle change well and had a major change at Town Talk, when I was moved from composing room to camera shop, after having worked in composing room since 1966. I have to admit I was lost as I had to learn how to operate a full-page camera, tone photos and strip in negatives using the four-color process. The negatives had to have perfectly matched register marks, or the photos would be out of focus, which could be seen easily by readers if not aligned properly.

The price of gasoline rose to $1.16 a gallon, an increase of 11 cents a gallon compared with 1992 prices. Movie tickets had risen to $4.14 and a loaf of bread cost $1.57.

Harley Davidson motorcycles observed their 90th anniversary in 1993, which means they will observe their 110th anniversary in 2013. Beanie babies were first sold in 1993 and are now collector’s items twenty years later.

1994 – Remember watching O.J. Simpson and the low-speed chase by police as they followed him to his home. He was eventually arrested and charged with the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. This is the year that Tonya Harding had someone hit her ice skating opponent Nancy Kerrigan in the knee, hoping to gain an advantage over her injured opponent.

Can remember Bud Selig saying the dreaded words that there would be no 1994 World Series, due to a lengthy baseball strike. I had the feeling Selig almost enjoyed cancelling the World Series, as he seemed to be letting the players know that he was in charge.

The cost of gasoline dropped to $1.09 a drop of seven cents from the 1993 price.  The first satellite digital television service was launched in 1994 and Netscape was the leading browser that year.

1995 – College Drive Baptist Church lost their pastor Mark Norwood who had accepted another job with a church in North Louisiana, when Warren Steadman became the pastor that fall.

1995 was one of my favorite years since the Atlanta Braves, who I had been following since 1978 defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series. It was the first Braves win in a World Series, since the 1957 Milwaukee Braves defeated the New York Yankees in the 1957 World Series. The win over the Indians was only the second World Series championship for the Braves in the last 55 years.

Gasoline was still selling at $1.09 the same price as the 1994 price. Postage stamps were now selling for 32 cents. I remember back in 1963, when I was selling stamps for a nickel each and a book of 20 stamps cost only a dollar. 32 years later the same 20 stamp book sold for $6.40. Fast forward to 2013 and stamps are approaching 50 cents a stamp and a book would cost $10 for a 20 stamp book.

The biggest tragedy of 1995 was when a truck bomb exploded, while killing 168 people at the Oklahoma City Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh would later be executed for his part in the crime.

750 Chicagoans would die in a heat wave, when temperatures reached 104 degrees for five straight days.

Windows 95 is released by Microsoft and DVD’s are introduced.

O.J. Simpson is found innocent of the Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman murders and vows to catch the REAL killer. He searched golf courses all over the United States looking for the real killer, but was unsuccessful in locating the killer. He could have saved all that time and energy by looking at the mirror and finding the REAL killer there.

Grocery prices skyrocketed in 1995 as bread was selling for $1.15 a loaf. The days of buying five loaves for a $1 at the bread thrift store were now officially over. Ground coffee could be purchased for $4.07 a pound.

Average income was $35,900 a month except for Town Talk employees. I retired from Town Talk nine years later and never earned more than $28,000 a year, while working for the Town Talk.

Memories of a Lifetime: 1981-1985

1981 – The Town Talk started printing a morning paper in 1981, which meant that most of us in the composing room worked the night shift. I would work nights the last 24 years of my time with the Town Talk. The page makeup department would work from 4:30 PM till 1:00 AM.

1982 – Another year in which I am drawing a blank, as to what happened during that year. Nationally, the Gannett Corporation published the first copy of USA Today, which makes it 31 years old today.

Gasoline cost 91 cents in 1982. The first CD player was sold this year. A Sony 19 inch color TV was being sold for $499. You can buy a RCA 19 inch color TV at Wal-Mart today for only $124, a savings of $375 thirty-one years later.

One of the major events for me was that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was opened this year in Washington, D.C. The memorial is of particular interest to me, since the soldier that replaced me in Vietnam died two months after I left and his name and the name of my cousin from Maine are both on the wall. My cousin was a warrant officer flying a helicopter when shot down and killed.

1983 – This was the year we went to Disney World in Orlando, Florida and tickets only cost $18 back then. Epcot Center had opened the year before, so we also went to Epcot Center while at Disney World.

Later that summer we went to Greeneville, Tennessee to see my dad and his wife. You could walk out their back door and see the Smoky Mountains.

The Town Talk celebrated their 100th anniversary by giving each employee a coin, which can be cashed in during the year 2033. The paper will be 130 years old on March 17 of this year.

You could buy a Dodge RAM 50 truck for $5,665. You could buy a toy General Lee car from Dukes of Hazzard for $5.99.

1984 – By this time the years were running together with no particular memory of this year. By 1984 the price of a gallon of gas had skyrocketed to $1.10 a gallon, compared to 91 cents only two years earlier. The same Dodge RAM 50 truck that cost $5,665 in 1983 was selling for $8,995 in 1984. Movie tickets cost only $2.50.

1985 – Another year with no personal memories of it. Looks like when I hit my 40’s my memory bank had deposits less often.

Gasoline was a cent cheaper, than in 1984 with the price now $1.09. A Tandy computer and monitor system was $999. Bacon was a $1.65 a pound in 1985.

A Rolls Royce car for kids were being sold for $500. The vehicle was motorized with a top speed of 5 MPH and featured working headlights and brakes.

Obsolete Electronics From The Past

An Underwood typewriter from the past.

When is the last time you saw someone use a typewriter? I can’t remember one being used by anyone, for at least the last 20 years. A good typist was worth their weight in gold, since typing a letter or legal document required a typist, who was not only fast but was accurate. I wonder what typists did before whiteout was invented. I guess they just started over and hoped for no typing mistakes.

The Harvard Junior Talking Machine  was a machine that reproduced records. This 1907 version was priced at only $4.50  and showed that even in the 1900’s people were recording music.

Antique radio consoles like this were still being used as late as 1959, when I listened to it on my grandpa’s farm in Missouri. I will never forget how the sound was better than most radios of today. Radios like this can be restored and found on eBay or at the websites of dealers, who refurbished them, so they could be used again. If you don’t want an antique console in your living room, this model can play records, CD’s and includes an AM-FM radio. It may be pricey at $358.96, but for those wh0 have the money to spend it would make an excellent addition to a den or living room.

http://www.amazon.com/Crosley-CR44CD-Turntable-Console-Player/dp/B0006PU71G/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Old-fashioned pay phones are just about obsolete today, due to the proliferation of cell phones. Very few people don’t own a cell phone today, so there is very little need for pay phones.

The Commodore 64 was very popular in the 80’s, but the desktops and laptops of today, have relegated it to being just another computer of the past.

Video recorders of the past were bulky in the past, but today video recorders can fit in a shirt pocket like this one.

Kodak ZM1-NM 1 MP 1-Inch LCD CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3 x Optical Zoom (Silver)

This video camera is much lighter than the pictured camcorder. It only weighs 2.2 ounces, so it will fit into a pocket easily.

Evolution of Phones: From Wall Phones to iPhones That Convert Speech Into Text

This wall phone reminds me of the wall phone at my grandpa's farm in Allendale Missouri on his 80 acre farm, back in the late 50's.
This rotary phone was seen in most American homes in the 50's and 60's.
This touch tone phone was found in almost any office for many years for office workers with a phone at their desk.
The latest cell phone today is the Apple iPhone 4s which looks nothing like the phones we grew up with over 50 years ago.

I remember back in the old days, when we would have to rent our phones from Bell South, paying a monthly charge to use the phones.

Now after the evolution of the phone from a wall phone, to a rotary phone, then to a touch tone phone found in most offices and also used at home.

It seems like it was only yesterday, when we only used phones to make phone calls and receive phone calls. Nowadays cell phones not only make and receive calls, but allow you to not call at all by using texts to transmit messages back and forth.

Cell phones have become a multi-purpose electronic device that enables owners to listen to music, watch television shows, movies and videos.

They can be used to play games, pay bills, make bank transactions on the phone, take notes, take photos and shoot HD quality videos. The iPhone 4s also can browse the web and remind you of an important event, that is approaching. If you get lost, you can use a built-in GPS to find your way.

The Apple 4s also has an intelligent assistant named Siri which will let you use your voice to ask questions:

It knows what you mean.

Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. So when you ask “Any good burger joints around here?” Siri will reply “I found a number of burger restaurants near you.” Then you can say “Hmm. How about tacos?” Siri remembers that you just asked about restaurants, so it will look for Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. And Siri is proactive, so it will question you until it finds what you’re looking for.

This is taking smart phones to a whole new level.

It helps you do the things you do every day.

Ask Siri to text your dad, remind you to call the dentist, or find directions, and it figures out which apps to use and who you’re talking about. It finds answers for you from the web through sources like Yelp and WolframAlpha. Using Location Services, it looks up where you live, where you work, and where you are. Then it gives you information and the best options based on your current location. From the details in your contacts, it knows your friends, family, boss, and coworkers. So you can tell Siri things like “Text Ryan I’m on my way” or “Remind me to make a dentist appointment when I get to work” or “Call a taxi” and it knows exactly what you mean and what to do.

One of the best features is that the iPhone 4s takes dictation, then converts your spoken words into text. If you are sitting at a dinner table, trying to make conversation with a 4s user, it will be a futile endeavor, since they will be too busy using the features of the 4s, to even notice you are in the room.

iPhone 4S takes dictation.

Here’s another amazing way to get things done: just use your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard. Then say what you want to say and iPhone listens. Tap Done, and iPhone converts your words into text. Use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web, and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write and send Instagrams.

Summary: We have come a long way from the wall phones of the past, which couldn’t be used to text or send emails, shoot videos or play music, to phones that are the electronic center of what is going on in our lives.

My problem is that I don’t have a cell phone, so still use a regular home phone to make and receive calls. The new technology is astounding, but if you can’t afford it, then it becomes worthless.

We all remember the high telephone bills of the past, when making a lot of long distance calls in a month. Owning a cell phone today may actually be cheaper, if someone was having $150 worth of long distance calls, month after month.

It becomes cost prohibitive to own a iPhone, a iPod and a iPad and a laptop not to mention paying for  monthly cable and internet service.

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:

http://www.biography.com/people/steve-jobs-9354805