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Dropout, vagabond, visionary

india Updated: Oct 07, 2011 00:56 IST
The Washington Post

In-this-file-photo-taken-Jan-27-2010-file-photo-Apple-CEO-Steve-Jobs-stands-in-front-of-a--photo-of-himself-right-and-Steve-Wozniak-left--during-an-Apple-event-in-San-Francisco

Steve Jobs, the brilliant, mercurial co-founder of Apple, made computers simple and elegant.

As a 21-year-old college-dropout entrepreneur, Jobs led Apple to multimillion-dollar success in five years. Forced out of his own company by the time he was 30, he started another computer firm, Next, whose technology was used to create the World Wide Web. Jobs also took over a computer animation company and turned it into the Academy Award-winning Pixar.

He returned to save Apple in his 40s, restoring the company to both profitability and leadership in innovation. But Jobs, a famously private man, didn't discuss his pancreatic cancer diagnosis and surgery in public for more than a year.

Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco to unwed parents, University of Wisconsin graduate student Joanne Carole Schieble and a Syrian exchange student, Abdulfattah Jandali. He was adopted shortly after birth by Paul and Clara Jobs.

He attended Reed College in Portland, for two years before dropping out. He worked part time at Atari Computers to raise money for a trip to India in 1974, studying meditation. But within months, he became ill with dysentery and was forced to return to the US. In 1975, he began associating with a group called Homebrew Computer Club. There he met Steve Wozniak who was trying to build a small computer and became fascinated with its potential. In 1976, he and Wozniak formed their own company.

(In Exclusive Partnership with The Washington Post)