Steve Jobs did not leave behind an autobiography as he embraced the inevitability of death, which he termed as the change agent in life. Many biographies have been written about him, some more favorable than others.
His authorized biography will appear next year, when Simon & Schuster publishes Walter Isaacson's iSteve: The Book of Jobs.
Jobs waged a public battle with cancer and his health had long been a topic of hot discussion in the business world. Like any other billionaire celebrity, he lived in a glass house.
Here are a few interesting facts about his life:
It's well known that Steve Jobs' biological father is a Syrian immigrant named Abdulfattah John Jandali. Jandali met an American graduate student Joanne Carole Schieble when he arrived in the U.S. for higher studies. They were unmarried when Jobs was born in San Francisco in 1955. He was given up for adoption, and California middle-class couple Paul and Clara Jobs took him and named him Steven Paul.
When he was 27 years old, Jobs found that he had a biological sister. Jandali and Schieble remained a couple after giving up Jobs for adoption and they were in fact married 10 months later. Jobs' younger sister, Mona Simpson, grew up in Wisconsin with their American mother and became a novelist of repute.
Simpson's Web site throws some light into their background. Her father was a recent immigrant from Syria and her mother was the daughter of a mink farmer and the first person in her family to attend college, the Web site says.
Mona Simpson's novels include Anywhere But Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy and Off Keck Road. “My brother and I are very close ... I admire him enormously,” New York Times Magazine quoted her as saying in a 1997 article. Jobs said: We’re family. She’s one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days.”
Relationships and marriage
Jobs married Laurene Powell in March 1991, after reportedly first meeting her at Stanford University during a talk. Zen Buddhist monk Kobun Chino Otogawa presided over their wedding.
Jobs has three children with wife Laurene.
Before the marriage, Jobs had a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs. She was born in 1978, and Jobs and her mother were not married. A Wikipedia entry says Lisa's mother briefly raised their daughter on welfare when Jobs denied paternity by claiming he was sterile; he later acknowledged Lisa as his daughter.
Jobs also dated legendary folk singer-songwriter Joan Baez in the late 70s and early 80s. According to many accounts, he even considered marrying Baez, who was much older. Baez mentioned Jobs in the acknowledgments section of her memoir And a Voice to Sing With.
In the unauthorized biography The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, author Alan Deutschman says that according to one of Jobs' friends, one reason for his attraction towards Baez was the fact that she used to be the girlfriend of Bob Dylan.
Elizabeth Holmes, a friend of Jobs from his time at Reed College, said she believed that Steve became the lover of Joan Baez in large measure because Baez had been the lover of Bob Dylan, book says.
In another unauthorized biography, iCon: Steve Jobs by Jeffrey S. Young & William L. Simon, the authors suggest that Jobs might have married Baez, but her age at the time (41) meant it was unlikely the couple could have children, the Wikipedia entry says.
A 'corporate dictator' who made people cry
Early this year, Adam Lashinsky wrote in Fortune magazine that Jobs was a corporate dictator who never tolerated failures.
In a feature that threw light into the inner workings of the world's most celebrated tech company and its fiercely successful CEO, Lashinsky has painted the picture of a man who virtually micromanages the mammoth company and holds everyone accountable for anything that goes wrong with a product.
He said there have been instances of Jobs using expletive-laden language to show his displeasure about product failures. He is a corporate dictator who makes every critical decision, and oodles of seemingly non-critical ones too, Lashinsky wrote.
Stanford management science professor Robert Sutton wrote in a book that Jobs was a feared taskmaster and tough boss whom people feared. The degree to which people in Silicon Valley are afraid of Jobs is unbelievable. He made people feel terrible; he made people cry.
Jobs, however, had this to say about his management style. “We've got 25,000 people at Apple. About 10,000 of them are in the stores. And my job is to work with sort of the top 100 people, that's what I do. That doesn't mean they're all vice presidents. Some of them are just key individual contributors. So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know - just explore things, he told Fortune Magazine in an exclusive interview.