Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

1955: Born in San Francisco

Jobs was born in San Francisco and adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, who also adopted a girl, whom they named Patti. His biological parents, who were graduate students at the time of his birth, eventually married and gave him a biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson.

1972: The College Year

Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Ore., dropping out in the first year. He slept on the floor at friends’ homes until he moved back to California.

1974: Atari Technician

Jobs took a job as a technician with video game pioneer Atari and began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Wozniak, with whom he had worked as a summer employee at Hewlett-Packard. He travels to India and returns a Buddhist.

1976: Founding Apple

Jobs, Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, with funding from Intel engineer Mike Makkula, began building computers under the Apple brand.

1984: The Macintosh

The original Apple computer had had mediocre sales; its successor, the Apple II, gained some traction. But it was the Macintosh, launched with a George Orwell-themed commercial in the 1984 Super Bowl, that put Apple on the map.

1985: You’re fired

Apple CEO John Sculley, whom Jobs had recruited from Pepsi Co., fired Jobs after a protracted power struggle. Jobs launched NeXT Computer. It produced a technologically advanced computer workstation with a serious flaw – it was prohibitively expensive for all but the most die-hard applications.

1986: Pixar

Lucasfilms spun off its computer graphics division, which Jobs bought for $10 million. It would later be christened Pixar Studios, producing well-loved animated feature including the Toy Story franchise and Monsters Inc. Disney eventually bought the company for $7 billion in stock, making Jobs its largest shareholder.

1996: Back to Apple

Apple bought NeXT Computer from Jobs, bringing him back into the fold. In short order, he ousted Gil Amelio and replaced him as CEO.

1998: The iMac

After years of struggling sales and falling market share, Apple released the all-in-one iMac, finally scoring a hit and selling almost a million units in the first six months.

2001: Changing music forever

Apple launched its first retail stores and a digital music player called the iPod. The name would become synonymous with MP3 player, and the iTunes music store, offering downloads of songs, would change the entire entertainment ecosystem.

2007: The iPhone

At MacWorld Expo, Jobs announced that Apple would drop “Computer” from its name, as its focus was now on mobile devices – like the long-rumoured iPhone he announced at the same conference. A year later, the third-party App Store launched, creating a new model for mobile devices.

2009: Jobs steps aside

Jobs took a six-month leave of absence to focus on his health after being diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

2010: The iPad

Jobs was back at the helm to announce Apple’s iPad, a 10-inch touchscreen tablet computer built on the same architecture as the wildly successful iPhone. The iPad would reinvigorate – and reinvent – a moribund tablet computer industry.

2011: Jobs steps down

In January, Jobs again took a medical leave of absence, handing over day-to-day operations to COO Tim Cook. Jobs resigned in August, with Cook taking over as CEO. Jobs died on Oct. 5.

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