Apple Info: Steve Jobs Bullied as a Child

by on March 4th, 2011
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Steve Jobs, the biography penned by author Walter Isaacson, has been on the best seller lists and talk of the tech town since its release. Juicy political tidbits like Jobs meeting with President Obama and bluntly telling him, “You’re headed for a one term presidency.”, or his less than flattering personal take on Bill Gates – that Mr. Microsoft himself Gates never really invented nor innovated anything – are just some of the more provocative headlines. One anecdote involving his school days is particularly poignant, but has been all but overlooked by most reviews of the book.

Steve Jobs fell prey to what we hear about constantly these days. He was a victim of bullying.

Isaacson writes, “Jobs was often bullied, and in the middle of seventh grade he gave his parents an ultimatum. “I insisted they put me in a different school, ” he recalled.

It may not be a stretch to imagine as geek great, tech titan as Jobs being pushed around by a bully, but Jobs projected such a confident manner in later life. It’s a little surprising he wasn’t always so self possessed and confident. Still, it highlights just how a bully can target anyone, especially in the vulnerable and formative childhood years.

It also emphasizes how hard one must work to free themselves from such a dilemma – both physically and mentally. Jobs wasn’t silent. The future King of Apple didn’t bear his burdens by himself. He not only told his parents what was happening to him, he made it abundantly clear to them that he couldn’t go on and learn properly – or live properly for that matter – in such a torturous environment, day in and day out.

We know how the Steve Job’s story ended – for the man. His tech vision and legacy still goes on, and will most likely prosper for quite some time. It’s curious to imagine, however, just how things might have gone differently, if Jobs hadn’t complained to his parents. What if he had taken the abuse and shouldered it quietly alone like so many other kids? He may have become so beaten down, so spiritually timid, his dreams might have never taken flight. What a different world it may have been, for all of us, if Steve Jobs hadn’t stood up to his bullies.


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