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Who was Steve Jobs the man?

Asher Moses, SMH | Oct. 11, 2011
We know he was driven, ambitious, demanding and a technical genius. But what was Steve Jobs like as a man?

Before making his transition to family man Jobs briefly dated the American folk singer and activist Joan Baez and actress Diane Keaton.

Finding his soul mate

Jobs married his wife Laurene Powell in a Buddhist ceremony in Yosemite National Park in 1991. The pair met in 1989 while Jobs was speaking at Stanford University, where Powell received an MBA, and later went on to have three children together.

Jobs has recounted how he skipped a business meeting to go on his first date with Powell. "I was in the parking lot with the key in the car, and I thought to myself, 'If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman?' I ran across the parking lot, asked her if she'd have dinner with me. She said yes, we walked into town and we've been together ever since," he said.

A true family man

Jobs's love for his family comes through in many of the anecdotes told by those who knew him in recent months. He guarded their privacy more heavily than his own and blew a fuse when Fairfax Media journalist Garry Barker mentioned his love for his children in an article.

Jobs's neighbour, Lisen Stromberg, wrote on her blog that she wouldn't be pondering the MacBook Air or the iPhone when considering the impact of the Steve Jobs era.

"I will think of the day I saw him at his son's high school graduation. There Steve stood, tears streaming down his cheeks, his smile wide and proud, as his son received his diploma and walked on into his own bright future, leaving behind a good man and a good father who can be sure of the rightness of this, perhaps his most important legacy of all," Stromberg wrote.

KC Bradshaw, a former contractor with JumpSport Trampolines, met Jobs in 2004 when he installed a trampoline at his house, which Bradshaw described as "more like a Buddhist-nice than a Trump-nice".

Jobs, known to be a keen gardener, had a grove of apricot trees and planted vegetables in his yard.

Bradshaw recounted how Jobs's obsession with detail even extended to the trampoline, with Jobs grilling him on "the company that built it, the manufacturing process, or how the trampoline could be simplified and improved upon".

That day Jobs's daughter was having a birthday party and Bradshaw described watching as Jobs jumped up on the trampoline and started bouncing around with his daughter. "It was really sweet," he said.

 

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