For some, it may come as a surprise to learn that the late Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Jobs was adopted. While reports indicate Jobs had contact with his biological mother, Joanne Schieble, it seems he did not have contact with his birth father, 80-year-old Syrian-American, Abdel-Fattah Jandali.
The couple were young and unmarried so the baby was given up for adoption by Paul and Clara Jobs. Ironically, not long after the adoption, Schieble and Jandali did marry, producing one other child -- a daughter named Mona, who Jobs was reportedly close with. Soon after the couple divorced.
Jandali had expressed regret at giving up his son for adoption, asserting that Schieble gave him no choice in the matter. In a rare August interview, Jandali told the British newspaper The Sun: "When Joanne told me she was pregnant I said I would marry her so we could bring up the baby as a family. I was very much in love with Joanne. "
"Sadly, her father was a tyrant and forbade her to marry me as I was from Syria. So she told me she wanted to give the baby up."
Jandali claimed that Joanne moved to San Francisco to have the baby in secrecy, adding:
"She didn't want to bring shame on the family and thought this was the best for everyone. I was sad and angry but I had no choice but to go along with her wishes.
"I honestly do not know to this day if Steve is aware that, had it been my choice, I would have loved to have kept him.
"I didn't even know when Joanne had the baby and I was not there on the day she passed him to the Jobs family. I had no say in who was going to adopt my son but I knew Joanne had insisted the Jobs family make sure he received a good education. I was happy about that.
"And let's face it, they appear to have done an incredible job."
Now, upon learning of his son's passing, Jandali, a former political science professor at the University of Reno, Nevada, had "nothing to say."
However, in the August interview Jandali had much to say about his son:
"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."
Jandali said he wanted to make contact with his son before his tragic death but that his “Syrian pride” would not allow him reach out. He claimed to be afraid Jobs would think he was after his fortune.
“If I could live my life again I would do things entirely differently. And even more so in recent years when I have heard that my son is gravely ill. It makes me feel like time is running out and that I am totally helpless,” he 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."
Jandali also stated that when Jobs fell ill, he thought his son might contact him to retrieve a medical history, but that call "never came."