Monday, July 08, 2013
Reel People: Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was born February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California. His parents met at the University of Wisconsin where his Syrian-born father, Abdulfattah "John" Jandali, was a young teacher who's girlfriend, a student Joanne Carole Schieble became pregnant. Joanne's parents objected to the relationship and put there baby up for adoption.
The baby was adopted by Paul Reinhold Jobs and Clara Jobs, both of whom did not have college degrees.
The Jobs family moved to Mountain View, California when Steve was 5. Paul was a mechanic who taught Steve how to fix things and build things, while Clara an account for a high tech firm Varian Associates.
In school Jobs was encouraged to skip two years because of his test scores, but his parents decided to only advance him one year. During his high school years he was interested in electronics.
Upon graduating from high school in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Due to the cost of the school and his parents income he dropped out after 6 months, and then began dropping in and auditing classes while sleeping on the floor of friends dorm rooms and getting food by returning soda bottles and dropping in on free meals offered at a Hare Krishna temple.
In 1973 Steve Jobs returned to California to take a job as a technician Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California. Where he had a reputation for being smart as well as arrogant. In 1974, Job went to India for a spiritual enlightenment trip. Which upon his return had him practicing Zen Buddhism, shaving his head, wearing Indian clothing, and having experimented with LSD.
Jobs returned to Atari were he began working with Steve Wozniak to reduce the number of chips needed for the Atari game Breakout.
In 1976, Jobs and Wozniak, along with another Atari employee Ronald Wayne, would co-found Apple Computer Company when Wozniak invented the Apple I computer. They were working in Job's parents garage while they tried to sell the product.
In 1978, Jobs and girlfriend Chris Ann Brennan had a baby, Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Chris had the raise the daughter initially on welfare while Steve Jobs denied paternity claiming he was sterile. Steve and Chris would break up and Jobs would remain uninvolved in Lisa's life for some time.
In 1980 Jobs found his birth mother, as well as let him know about his biological sister author Mona Simpson. (They would keep their relationship to one another secret until 1986, when Mona introduced him at a party for her first book).
With some investment the company was able to grow including the development of a mouse-driven interface and a personal computer for business use called Apple Lisa, followed by the Macintosh developed by Jef Raskin. The computer was named after Jobs daughter. In 1984 during the Super Bowl, Apple aired the famous "1984" commercial.
Around this same time, in 1983 Jobs had hired John Sculley from Pepsi-Cola to be the CEO of Apple. Yet by 1985 a power struggle between Job and Sculley ended in the board of Apple siding with Sculley and Jobs ultimately resigning from Apple.
Steve Jobs immediately started a new company, NeXT Computer which early on was subsidized by Ross Perot.
Also around this time he purchased The Graphics Group (later named Pixar) from Lucasfilms.
In 1990 NeXT Computer released a personal computer at the cost of $9,999. The high cost made it a tough sell in the marketplace. But Jobs was dedicated to not just make a personal computer, but an interpersonal computer that featured webmail and ethernet connections. The company made their first profit in 1994.
In 1991 Steve Jobs would get married to Laurene Powell with a Buddhist monk presiding over the wedding. Their son Reed would be born later that year. Two daughters would be born of Laurene and Steve in later years, Erin in 1995 and Eve in 1998.
In 1995 Pixar released it's first film, Toy Story, with Jobs created as executive producer.
NeXT Computer created WebObjects in 1996, and the company was acquired by Apple Inc. in 1996 for $427 million. This brought Jobs back to Apple. Steve Jobs convinced Apple's board to remove CEO Gil Amelio in 1997 (shortly after the stock fell, in part due to Steve Jobs anonymous selling 1.5 million shares), and Jobs became the CEO of Apple again shortly after.
Jobs was involved with innovation and product development at Apple Inc., including the January 2001 Jobs release of Apple's first generation iPod.
In October 2003 Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which he announced to his staff in 2004. Jobs view of alternative medicine led him to make decisions that many now view potentially cost him his life.
In January 2006 Jobs negotiated a deal with Bob Iger for Disney to purchase Pixar in an all stock transaction worth $7.4 billion making Jobs the largest single stock holder of The Walt Disney Company's stock.
Under Jobs, In 2007 Apple entered the phone market with the iPhone.
Battling health issues Jobs took a 6 month leave in 2009 at which point he underwent a liver transplant.
In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO but remained Chairman of the Board.
Steve Jobs died October 5, 2011 in Palo Alto of respiratory arrest due to complications associated with his pancreatic cancer.
The film Jobs tells the story of Steve Jobs life from 1971 to 2011. The independent film features in addition to Aston Kutcher as Jobs also features Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak and Matthew Modine as John Sculley.
The film premiered in 2013 as the closing film at the Sundance Film Festival.
Will Ashton Kutcher's portrayal of the iconic visionary receive awards attention, and maybe even an Oscar nomination for this performance as a Reel (Real) Person?