Steve Jobs’ Estranged Father Hoped His Son Would Call
If you’ve never heard the name Abdulfattah John Jandali, you’re not alone. He’s an 80 year old, Syrian-born vice president at a casino in Reno, Nevada. You might also be surprised to know that Jandali is Steve Jobs’ birth father, who gave Steve up for adoption when he was a baby. Well, you’re not too surprised since we blew that one in the headline.
Jandali had e-mailed Steve Jobs over the years but never heard back. He never called, thinking Jobs would suspect Jandali of trying to get a piece of his son’s money. Jandali had told the New York Post recently that he didn’t even know that the child he’d given up was now Apple’s CEO.
Jandali also says that he intended to keep Steve when he was born – but his wife, Joanne Carole Schieble (who changed her last name to Simpson later) couldn’t do it – her father didn’t approve of her marrying a Syrian immigrant, even though Jandali had met Simpson at the University of Wisconsin, where Jandali was a teacher and Simpson was a student. So because of Simpson’s father, she moved to San Francisco, California alone, had the baby and gave him up for adoption. A few months after that adoption took place, Simpson’s father died and she married Jandali.
Jandali and Simpson had another child – author Mona Simpson. Simpson wrote novels that people suspected were inspired by her own family, including “A Regular Guy,” which is about – go figure, a Silicon Valley tycoon who has to come to terms with the daughter he left out of his life. So…Steve Jobs.
Also, if you’ve never checked out the TV-movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” it’s a great look at the beginnings of Apple and Microsoft. It starred Noah Wylie as Steve Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates. Also, for trivia’s purposes, John Di Maggio, the guy that played Steve Ballmer, is also the voice of Bender on “Futurama,” and the voice of Marcus Fenix in the Gears of War video game series. Above all, “Pirates of Silicon Valley” was a great movie, and for being a TV-movie, it was better than a lot of the stuff that gets to the big screen.
Check the sauce for more on the story, but the Jandali piece was only a small part of the bigger look back at Jobs’ personal life. We kind of told you the whole deal already.