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We Lost Steve Jobs At The Age Of 56 And I Realize We Hardly Knew Him

It’s Been A Decade Without Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was a computer entrepreneur, a marketing genius and an inspiration to all Americans. He died in 2011 at age 56 of pancreatic cancer.

I thought it appropriate to revisit a post from 2011 that I did on the former Apple CEO.

From April 2011:

I’ve never owned an Apple computer. I don’t have a iPod or an iPhone or an iPad. Yet Steve Jobs has changed my life immeasurably, simply because of his impact on the personal computer and the electronics revolution.

Steve Jobs Was A Wildly Interesting Man

Steve Jobs, at age 56, was one of the most influential Baby Boomers. I don’t want to write his obituary prematurely, but apparently he’s in real trouble. And I don’t submit this post to give any credence to a sleazy newspaper that may sensationalize his health problems, but to pay homage to a brave and creative genius. And honestly, until I saw this item, Ten Unusual Things I Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs, I didn’t know much about him. But Steve Jobs is one fascinating guy.

Steve Jobs In His Early Years

I didn’t realize that he was adopted. His biological father’s name was Abdulfattah Jandali. His mother was an unmarried graduate student who felt too young to raise a child. So she put him up for adoption, with the only proviso that his new parents be college graduates. But after the first adoptive parents fell through, the next in line was a couple — one of whom didn’t go to college; the other didn’t even graduate from high school. This couple ended up getting the boy only after making the promise that they would make sure he would go to college.

Steve Jobs

I did have a vague awareness that Steve Jobs was a college dropout. He spent a semester at Reed College, a good but not especially highly rated college in Portland, Oregon. The reason he dropped out? He felt he wasn’t getting that much out of his experience, and he knew that paying the tuition was impoverishing his parents. So he dropped out, but stayed around campus auditing courses for a couple more semesters, sleeping on the floor of friends’ apartments, picking up some knowledge and skills at little to no cost.

The College Dropout Who Founded Apple

Before he started Apple with partner Steve Wozniak, he worked briefly for Atari, creating those primitive shooting and “pong” type games we all remember from the ’70s. He then co-founded Apple Computer in 1976, when he was just 21 years old.

We all know about the success of Apple. But who remembers that Jobs was unceremoniously fired in 1985? He was the loser in a corporate power play, and found himself publicly humiliated and out of work at the age of 30. Some people thought he was washed up. But he quickly prove them wrong. He immediately founded another company, Next, followed by Pixar, the animation company eventually acquired by Disney. Jobs went back to Apple after Next was bought out by Apple in 1996.

Steve Jobs’ Cancer Diagnosis

Jobs was first diagnosed with cancer in 2004, and underwent surgery to remove a tumor on his pancreas. In 2009 he had a liver transplant, and reportedly went to Switzerland to receive an experimental treatment for pancreatic cancer. In January 2011, Jobs took yet another medical leave of absence “so he could focus on his health.” Since then he has been observed, according to Mail Online, looking “thin and frail,” and he has been seen going in and out of Stanford University’s state-of-the-art cancer center.

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About The Author
Tom Lashnits
Tom Lashnits
Tom Lashnits spent 40 years in New York book and magazine publishing before retiring to Bucks County, PA, in 2017. He now volunteers in the school system, produces the baby boomer blog Sightings Over Sixty . . . and is just starting to chase after grandchildren.
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