Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jumping on the Bandwagon: Steve Jobs, Adoptee

Well, everyone and their brother is writing about Steve Jobs right now.  I can't be on facebook or twitter without getting eulogizing posts about him.  So I'm jumping on the bandwagon, too.  You've probably heard already that he was adopted as an infant.  This article gives info about his biological family and his relationship (or lack thereof)  with them:
[Abdulfattah "John"] Jandali, then a political science student from Homs, Syria, and Joanne Carole Schieble, an American graduate student, were unmarried when Jobs was born in 1955. The baby was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, Calif., who named him Steven Paul.

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When Job's illness -- a rare form of pancreatic disorder -- was made public, Jandali mailed him his medical history in hopes it would help his treatment.

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Jandali and Schieble were married 10 months after giving Jobs up for adoption and they gave birth to and raised Jobs' biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson.

Though Jobs refused to meet his father, he shared a relationship with Simpson. She first met Jobs when they were adults, after she invited him to a party promoting her novel "Anywhere But Here," where she revealed that they were siblings; Jobs was 27. He regularly visited her in Manhattan, a New York Times report said.

"My brother and I are very close, I admire him enormously," Simpson told New York Times. 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."

Getting to know his sister, and learning how similar they were, had a major effect on Jobs. Steve Lohr of The New York Times wrote: "The effect of all this on Jobs seems to be a certain sense of calming fatalism -- less urgency to control his immediate environment and a greater trust that life's outcomes are, to a certain degree, wired in the genes."

6 comments:

jena said...

Wow, loved mona simpson's book at about 15 years ago, passionately. Had NO IDEA of her connection. very bizarre. she is an Excellent author, especially of saddening Mother-daughter relations...

THanks, as always Malinda!

Linda said...

"The effect of all this on Jobs seems to be a certain sense of calming fatalism -- less urgency to control his immediate environment and a greater trust that life's outcomes are, to a certain degree, wired in the genes."

This statement takes my breath away.

Before I entered reunion, I was exactly like this- a complete control freak. As it (my reunion/story/whatever you want to call it) has evolved, and with each person I meet and get to know in my natural family, I make more sense to me...if that makes sense. ;)

Elaine said...

Thanks for this. I was fascinated to hear he was adopted but way too lazy to do any research on my own about it.

Julien ChAbAdA said...

Many tributes to Steve Jobs do exist all around the world (even among froggies !;-))
I made one, in memoriam, with the 'extra-ordinary' speech he made in Stanford :
http://cultures-et-chabada.blogspot.com/2011/10/no-more-jobs-for-steve-tribute-2.html

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." ~ Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011).

Anonymous said...

What I found also interesting about Steve Jobs is that he denied paternity to his first daughter, Lisa (he was not married to the mother.) He even claimed he was sterile. Eventually, he did acknowledge paternity.

"Jobs also had a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs (born 1978), from his relationship with Bay Area painter Chrisann Brennan.[5] For two years, she raised their daughter on welfare when Jobs denied paternity by claiming he was sterile; he later acknowledged Lisa as his daughter."[5]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs

I guess I would have thought that someone who was adopted would have handled the situation differently.

Anonymous said...

I heard that shortly after Steve Jobs' first parents married, that his father left the family and that the mother had to raise Mona Simpson as a single parent. (I think I heard that on NPR.) If that's true, that's pretty bad on the part of Jobs' first father and may be why he didn't want to meet him.