Adoption, Abandonment, and Steve Jobs

There was a lot of coverage in the news last week when one of the greatest visionaries of our time passed away at the rather young age of 56. Of course, we are referring to the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. Even if you are not a fan of the Mac, iPod, iPad, or iPhone, there is no question that Mr. Jobs forever changed the way we use technology in our daily lives. But, like the apple with a missing bite that is the iconic symbol of his business legacy, Mr. Jobs too had a little piece missing from him.

While he was a very private man, we rarely saw his wife or children, there is a personal fact that we do know about him; Mr. Jobs was adopted. And, while he did have some sort of relationship with his birth mother and sister, he chose (according to the Jobs’ Family) to never meet his birth father. The little we do know about his estrangement from his father comes from that man himself in a tastefully done Wall Street Journal article published a few days after Mr. Jobs’ death.

Abdulfattah “John” Jandali and Joanne Simpson were unmarried graduate students when their baby boy was born in San Francisco in 1955. Ms. Simpson was determined to have her baby adopted by a college educated couple, but when that wasn’t possible she entrusted her child to Clara and Paul Jobs. Ms. Simpson and Mr. Jandali eventually did marry and had a daughter, Mr. Jobs’ sister the novelist Mona Simpson, before splitting up for good.

As an adult, Mr. Jobs sought out his birth mother but not his birth father, and according to Mr. Jandali, it’s because he “abandoned his family.” He continues by remarking that his daughter Mona’s 1993 novel “The Lost Father” was

“ …her way of venting, and it’s OK. She’s entitled to that. It’s the price to pay for not being there for your child when you’re a father. Even though I don’t see her, I love her dearly.”

So while Mr. Jandali did ‘know’ his daughter, he reportedly didn’t discover that the world-renowned computer genius Steve Jobs was his son until 2005.

Mr. Jandali does own two Apple computers, an iPad, and buys each release of the iPhone as it becomes available. He does claim that an email he sent to Mr. Jobs about six weeks ago was replied to with a simple ‘thank you’, but the Jobs Family says that didn’t happen. It’s unfortunate to know that Mr. Jobs died with seemingly unresolved issues with his birth father, but who knows what Mr. Jobs’ life path would have been if Paul and Clara Jobs had never come into his life. One thing is certain, said Mr. Jandali as he waved his iPhone4, “They produce the best. Steve Jobs was a genius.”

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs


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