Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs’ ties to De Anza College ran deep. Not only did Jobs attend De Anza College in the 1970s, he also introduced the original Apple Macintosh during a 1984 news conference at the Flint Center on the De Anza College campus.

Jobs was born in San Francisco in 1955 to two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave him up for adoption. His adoptive parents, Clara and Paul Jobs, lived in Mountain View. Jobs and his father would work on electronics in the family garage, and as a teen, Jobs spent his free time at Hewlett-Packard, where that he befriended computer club guru Steve Wozniak. After high school, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, but he dropped out after six months, though he later attended De Anza College over two semesters.

Jobs and Wozniak conceived a series of user-friendly personal computers. Their first model, the Apple I, earned them $774,000, and revenues grew to $139 million in the years following the releasee of the Apple II. In 1980, Apple Computer became a publicly traded company with a market value of $1.2 billion on the very first day of trading. But despite positive sales and performance superior to IBM's PCs, the Macintosh was still not IBM-compatible. Top executives believed Jobs was hurting Apple and executives began to phase him out.

In 1985, Jobs resigned as Apple's CEO to begin a new hardware and software company called NeXT Inc. The following year Jobs purchased an animation company from George Lucas, which later became Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar went on to produce wildly popular animation films such as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles.”

Despite Pixar's success, NeXT Inc. floundered in its attempts to sell its specialized operating system to mainstream America. Apple eventually bought the company in 1997 for $429 million. That same year, Jobs returned to his post as Apple's CEO.

Jobs is credited with revitalizing the company in the 1990s. With a new management team, products such as the iMac, effective branding campaigns, and stylish designs caught the attention of consumers once again.

Apple would go on to introduce such revolutionary products as the MacBook Air, iPod, and iPhone, all of which have dictated the evolution of modern technology.