In 1991, the FBI conducted a comprehensive background check on Apple founder Steve Jobs, who was then being considered for a post in the George H. W. Bush White House.
Two decades later, and just a few months after Jobs died of pancreatic cancer, that FBI file has been released after a Freedom of Information Act request, offering a 191-page glimpse into the man behind a revolutionary tech empire.
Some details of the report have already been published, but questions about the facts contained in the 191-page document continue to dog Apple fans and those interested in learning more about the tech revolutionary. What position was Steve Jobs being considered for? What did his co-workers think of him, and his immediate neighbors? What did he think about being fired from Apple, the company he helped found?
From cryptic notes about his ability to distort reality and his recreational drug use to his relationship with his daughter and a 1985 bomb threat that would have cost him one million dollars, here are all the details so far from the 1991 Steve Jobs FBI file.
Jobs Could 'Lose Sight Of Honor And Integrity'
The FBI file doesn't say what post Steve Jobs was being considered for during the first Bush presidency. The Christian Science Monitor reports that he was being considered for the President's Export Council, and the AP confirms that he did fill a post there for a time.
The file does include, however, interviews with friends and colleagues of the late Apple CEO...and much of what they had to say was less than complimentary.
[Redacted] characterized Mr. Jobs as a deceptive individual who is not completely forthright and honest, the FBI file states.
Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty, stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality to achieve his goals, another section reads.
One woman even claimed his initial success at Apple at times caused him to lose sight of honor and integrity, and even caused him to distort the truth at times to get his way.
Even those praising Jobs, like the two former Apple employees supporting his appointment, offered some cryptic comments along with their support.
They stated that he is strongwilled, stubborn, hardworking and driven, which they believe is why he's so successful, the authors of the FBI file note.
They further stated, however, that Mr. Jobs possesses integrity as long as he gets his way; however, they did not elaborate on this.
Steve Jobs: 'Visionary' Politician?
Many of these same people, however, would go on to wholeheartedly recommend the late Apple CEO for the job. One woman, after bashing him as deceptive and shallow, went on to call him a visionary and charismatic individual.
Several said the late Apple CEO had good character and integrity despite his failings, and that he had the makings of a remarkable political career.
Honesty and integrity are not required qualities to hold such a position, FBI records records one interviewee saying.
What Did His Neighbors Think Of Him?
As part of their comprehensive background check, FBI agents went door to door in Steve Jobs' neighborhood, asking whoever answered the door what they thought of him. The overwhelming response: Steve Jobs was a wonderful addition to the Silicon Valley neighborhood.
The late Apple CEO's next-door neighbor adored him, calling him a quiet and unassuming man who never caused any problems. She even noted that he has visited her last week to go over some landscaping plans for his house, to make sure it would not cause any problems with her and her husband.
Another neighbor mentioned that Jobs was a vegetarian who neither smoke nor drank, and that he was an avid jogger. The general consensus was that the quirky, intense man was a nice enough person and a good guy to have in the neighborhood.
Recreational Drug Use
Steve Jobs has admitted to drug use in the past, and once even suggested that Microsoft head Bob Gates would be more successful if he had dropped acid when he was younger.
That history of drug use was something FBI investigators were worried would continue if he were appointed to an important government position, and the topic of drugs and addiction came up frequently in the interviews.
Several of Jobs' friends admitted that they had experimented with various drugs alongside the Apple founder, including marijuana, hashish and LSD.
A female friend, however, insisted that Steve Jobs was extremely health-conscious now and that he rarely even drank alcohol, except to have wine socially.
Steve Jobs said the same when he was interviewed by the FBI. Although he admitted to experimenting with drugs from 1970 to 1974, he claimed not to have used any illegal substances for the past five years.
This [recreational drug use] was during high school and college, and he mostly used these substances by himself, the FBI report reads.
Steve Jobs ousted from Apple, the company he founded, in 1985, following a clash with CEO John Sculley. In one section of the 1991 background check, the FBI asked Jobs to select from several reasons why his employment at Apple ended, and to supply details if needed. He chose one option: under unfavorable circumstances.
The FBI report also touches on Jobs' personal life, including his relationship with Christine Brennan, with whom he fathered a daughter out of wedlock.
According to Bloomberg, Jobs first denied being the father of Lisa Brennan-Jobs, and FBI report states that in the past, the late Apple CEO was not supportive of the mother of his child. Jobs did not comment on his ex-girlfriend or his daughter, but would not be reconciled with Lisa Brennan-Jobs until she was much older.
The Threat of Communism
The Steve Jobs FBI file may have been compiled in 1991, the tail-end of the Cold War era, but federal investigators still made sure that the tech rebel wasn't harboring secret communist leanings.
Steve Jobs was given a questionnaire to check yes or no answers at some point during the background check. One asked if he'd ever been Red, or if he'd ever plotted to overthrow the government.
Jobs checked the no box, but FBI investigators weren't finished yet. They also investigated his immediate and extended family.
[Jobs] has no close relatives residing in communist-controlled countries, the FBI file concludes.
The 1985 Bomb Threat
According to the Steve Jobs FBI file, the late Apple founder was the target of a dangerous extortion attempt, an incident which the Bureau had investigated.
In 1985, an unidentified man made a series of calls to several prominent individuals, claiming devices had been planted in people's homes and demanding one million dollars in exchange for not setting them off.
The caller left instructions for one of the victims of the extortion attempt to go to the San Francisco Hilton hotel and pick up a note left under a table near the candy machine. The call-back number left by the extortionist was traced to a public telephone in a parking garage.
No bombs were ever found.
For such dogged agents, and such a comprehensive background check, there were several basic mistakes in the document. The worst from an Apple fan's perspective can be found in a summary of an interview with Jobs, which contains several references to the Mackintosh computer (it's spelling Macintosh).
The FBI file also contains several strange notes and sketches. One, noted by The Monitor, is a doodle of a G-man written on a fax from the FBI's New Rochelle, N.Y., office, with a note underneath the drawing that reads, Just the fax, man. Nothing but the fax.
Perhaps it was small errors or slips in propriety that cost the FBI agents some success and time in their investigation. According to their report, several people never found time to talk to them for even an hour, including the president of a university they attempted to contact and, for three weeks, Steve Jobs himself.