Steve Jobs met his biological father several times in his life. But never on purpose.

Steve Jobs was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the digital age.

He made tech giant Apple the household name it is today. Over his 35-year career he went from success to success to success.

However, his family life was a little more complicated.

When Jobs was born in 1955, his biological parents Abdulfattah “John” Jandali and Joanne Schieble, gave him up for adoption.

Schieble became pregnant while spending the summer with Jandali’s family in Homs, Syria. According to Jandali, Schieble’s dying father did not approve of their relationship.

“I was very much in love with Joanne,” he once told the New York Post. “But sadly, her father was a tyrant, and forbade her to marry me, as I was from Syria. And so she told me she wanted to give the baby up for adoption.”

The couple broke up and Jobs was adopted by Paul Jobs and Clara Hagopian.

A few months later Schieble’s dad passed away and the couple reunited. They went on to have a daughter together named Mona.

The family then moved to Syria, but Schieble was unhappy there. When Mona was four years old, Schieble took her back to the United States, and the couple divorced.

Mona would go on to become the novelist known as Mona Simpson.

After Jobs adoptive mother, Clara, died of lung cancer in 1986, he met up with Schieble for the first time. He then discovered that 25-year-old Simpson was his biological sister and she had no idea that he existed.

Their mother arranged for the siblings to meet in New York. Although they were hesitant at first, they soon became very close.

“Mona was not completely thrilled at first to have me in her life and have her mother so emotionally affectionate toward me… as we got to know each other, we became really good friends and she is my family,” Jobs said in his biography, Steve Jobs.


“I don’t know what I’d do without her. I can’t imagine a better sister. My adopted sister, Patty, and I were never close.”

The pair then worked together to track down Jandali. However, once they found him, Jobs decided only Simpson should meet him.

During their first meeting, Jandali talked about the baby he had given up for adoption and would never see again. Simpson did not mention that she was in contact with Jobs.

Over several hours of conversation, Jandali also mentioned that he used to manage a Mediterranean restaurant near San Jose.

“All of the successful technology people used to come there. Even Steve Jobs… oh yeah, he used to come in, and he was a sweet guy, and a big tipper,” he said according to the biography, Steve Jobs. 

Jobs was amazed when he heard about the conversation and recalled going to the restaurant and meeting the manager several times. But he decided he didn’t want to meet Jandali. By then Jobs was a very wealthy man and he was concerned Jandali would blackmail him or go to the press about their relationship.

Jandali later found out that Jobs was his son, but refused to make contact with him because of his “Syrian pride”.

“I live in hope that before it is too late he will reach out to me. Even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man,” he once told The Sun.

“This might sound strange, though, but I am not prepared, even if either of us was on our deathbed, to pick up the phone to call him.

“Steve will have to do that as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune. I am not. I have my own money. What I don’t have is my son… and that saddens me.”

When Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011, the pair had never “met”.

00:00 / ???