How Steve Jobs met his biological father and didn't know it

I touched on this earlier this month, when I mentioned in a homily the circumstances surrounding Steve Jobs’ birth to an unwed college student.  But there’s more to the story:

Among the revelations in former CNN chairman Walter Isaacson‘s new biography of Steve Jobs, was that Jobs met his biological father Abdulfattah “John” Jandali many years ago. But at the time, Jobs didn’t know Jandali was his father. And the father had no idea Jobs was his son.

Isaacson tells the story to Steve Kroft for a “60 Minutes” story airing tomorrow, ahead of the book’s release Monday.

Jobs was already well-known for creating Apple when he met Jandali. Jobs had dined at a popular Silicon Valley Mediterranean restaurant “once or twice” that Jandali owned. “Everybody used to come there,” Jandali told Jobs’ sister, the novelist Mona Simpson. “Even Steve Jobs used to eat there. Yeah, he was a great tipper.”

It seems the only one who knew the whole story was a person who had contact with both men: Mona Simpson.  The video below has more:

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  1. This stuff does not add stature to a Catholic blog. Whomever you report to should be supervising your “catholic” blog more closely. God bless us all !!

  2. naturgesetz says:

    This is sad, but I guess if you find out that your biological father is somehow an undesirable person and doesn’t seem especially interested in getting in touch with you, it’s an understandable reaction.

    It’s too bad they didn’t go more deeply into Steve Jobs’ thinking about it. What could have changed his mind, if anything?

  3. Fascinating follow up to the multitude of ‘what if’ questions that surround this life. Also, another case for Divine Providence (vs. mere coincidence) in the ‘chance’ encounter. Thanks for this most appropriate post.

  4. Raymond, perhaps you and the other Truly True Catholics(tm) can go start your own Truly True Catholic Blog(tm).

    Keep up the good work, Deacon.

  5. What an interesting story! Thanks for posting, Deacon. The more I’ve read about Jobs’ bio father, I’m impressed with the way he handled it – balancing his own desire to know his son with his awareness of how it could come across to his son of he introduced himself suddenly after Jobs became rich.

  6. @Raymond:
    Why this hatred? Also, why on earth would this story not fit here? The purpose of the blog is: “Where a Roman Catholic deacon ponders the world”

    When you ponder the world, this does not have to be confined to “catholic” issues per se.

    I agree with Augustine, if you don’t like it, go elsewhere – nothing is as free as the internet. You will find blogs on any issue; also, you can start your own blog where you can talk about your own little world exclusively!

    Deacon Kandra, continue your good work, I always love reading your blog!

  7. Thank you, Deacon Kandra. This post carries a powerful message for us, Christians, regarding Jesus’ exhortation on forgiveness. It is something easily said than done. It has opened my eyes to the fact that if I were Steve Jobs, how would I have handled it? It also serves as a reminder for us not to judge the action of another, until or unlless, one is faced with the same predicament.

  8. I agree with Father John, “Divine Providence.” JPII often taught that there are no “coincidences.”

    I noticed that Jobs had his funeral in a church (with real saints on the windows). Despite the church being non denominational, the fact that a Buddhist had a “church” funeral is certainly a “hopeful” step in the right direction. The book also said that as he got closer to death, he gave God more thought, and was 50-50.

    I have great hope that before his last breath, Jobs knew Christ!

  9. I’m not a frequent commenter, but ditto on the “thank you” Deacon Greg. I enjoy reading your blog.

  10. Visionaries like Steve Jobs reveal the true secret to the Universe in that nothing is impossible with time, perseverance, and positive visualization. Such a passion for furthering human communication inspires. His legacy will survive generations with names like Edison, Tesla as the greatest inventors and visionaries of all time. As an artist, I draw from these inspirations and advancements in my work and you may enjoy my recent portrait of Mr. Jobs, now In Memoriam at

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