Steve Jobs' 191-page FBI file released

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2008, file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air after giving the keynote address at the Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
February 9, 2012 9:24:13 PM PST
The FBI Thursday released its secret file on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. It's an intriguing look inside the life of the late hi-tech pioneer.

The 191 pages hold some scathing comments from former co-workers and acquaintances, an admission by Jobs of past drug use, and details of a bomb scare at the homes of Apple employees.

The bulk of the FBI file on Jobs is a background check from 1991 -- the first President Bush considered appointing him to the President's Export Council. Agents performed dozens of interviews across the country with Jobs' friends, neighbors, employees and business partners.

"The FBI conducts these inquires for the White House and the administration to ensure that the people that area being appointed essentially are the type of people that they thought they were," former FBI special agent Max Noel said.

Several former Apple employees comment favorably about Jobs' integrity, saying he had "high moral character." Another told agents Jobs was "extremely intelligent, a true leader." A neighbor said Jobs "was a vegetarian and did a great deal of jogging." He was "well off and didn't appear to be a big spender."

Others were not so complimentary. An agent wrote, "Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that (he) will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals." A former Apple employee said, "He is a complex individual and his moral character is suspect." Another told agents, "Jobs possesses integrity as long as he gets his way."

"Steve would run over people, make sure that he got his way and that left really raw feelings," author Jeffrey S. Young said.

One classmate at Reed College in Portland recounted that she and Jobs "experimented with various drugs," but he "is extremely health conscious now and rarely even drinks but will occasionally have wine socially."

In his interview with agents, Jobs said, "He had not used any illegal drugs in the past five years," but during high school and college, "he experimented with marijuana, hashish and LSD."

"To Steve, if you hadn't done acid you could never understand what Apple was all about," Young said. "It was a critical part of his thinking."

The file also details a 1985 bomb scare -- a man called Apple headquarters and said he had planted bombs in the homes of three employees and a fourth, undisclosed location -- hinting that it could be a BART train. He demanded a million dollars. Police traced the call to a pay phone at SFO, took fingerprints, and sent a bomb squad to the homes. They never found a device or a suspect.

Agents confirmed Jobs was not a member of the communist party, that he had never been arrested for a felony, and that he graduated from Homestead High School in Cupertino with a 2.65 GPA.


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