Steve Jobs’ biological father, Abdul Fattah Jandali, shown here with Joanne Carol Schieble, Jobs’ biological mother, (Photo courtesy Al Arabiya) See new details in the post today, Saturday, Oct. 22.
In the category of you couldn't make this stuff up--Steve Jobs did meet his father--and neither knew they they were father and son! This is a snippet of the new biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, today gleaned from the Huffington Post
Jobs, who was adopted, was a customer at a Mediterranean restaurant north of San Jose without realizing that it was owned by his biological father -- from whom he was estranged.
The two eventually met. "It was amazing," Jobs later said of the revelation. "I had been to that restaurant a few times, and I remember meeting the owner. He was Syrian. Balding. We shook hands."
Nevertheless, Jobs still had no desire to see him. "I was a wealthy man by then, and I didn't trust him not to try to blackmail me or go to the press about it."
|Jandali and son, Steve Jobs|
After Jobs died, Jandali did reveal to the Wall Street Journal that he had sent his son emails as his cancer progressed, and that he sent him medical records that might be useful, and his son responded tersely. While that seems harsh, we know as first mothers how even such an acknowledgment from children who do not respond in any way would be better than the silence we may encounter.
Ten months later, after the death of her overbearing father, Jandali and Schieble married and had a daughter, Mona. According to Fortune magazine, financial setbacks here led Jandali to settle his family in his native Syria, in the hope that he could get a job in the diplomatic corps, where he had a relative. That did not work out; Jandali went to work in an oil refinery. Not long thereafter, he and his wife separated, and she moved back to Wisconsin, where she eventually remarried someone named Simpson. Mona also took that last name--perhaps she was legally adopted, I would assume that but have not read it--and she grew up to become the acclaimed novelist, Mona Simpson.
The way life plays in this family drama has the aura of a Greek tragedy. Jobs could not "forgive" his father for his adoption, no matter how good his adoptive parents were, or how his life turned out. When adoptive parents bully us birth mothers, as they have in the last couple of weeks, what they do not consider is that no matter the circumstances, being given up for adoption instills a sense of abandonment in the heart of the given up. The story of Moses would be an exception, because he would have been killed if he had not been set adrift in a basket of reeds. But that is not it is how for the rest of us, both birth/natural mothers and adoptees. And we make do with what is. --lorraine
We've written much more about this. See: Steve Jobs, Mona Simpson, and Paternity: It's all in the family