Another surprising revelation from Walter Isaacson’s upcoming bio of Steve Jobs has leaked out: in the 1980s, Steve Jobs unknowingly met his biological father on multiple occasions.
CBS News summarizes the bizarre coincidence:
Given up for adoption as a baby, Jobs never knew he had a sister, until the biological mother he tracked down revealed her to him: the novelist Mona Simpson. Jobs met and bonded with Simpson and the two set out to find their father. Simpson found him, a man named Abdulfattah “John” Jandali. He was managing a coffee shop. Isaacson says Simpson had not told Jandali who his son was before he said to her, “‘I wish you could have seen me when I was running a bigger restaurant.'” Jandali said he ran a popular Mediterranean restaurant in Silicon Valley. “‘Everybody used to come there,'” Isaacson says Jandali told Simpson. “‘Even Steve Jobs used to eat there. Yeah, he was a great tipper.'”
Simpson did not reveal who the big tipper was. She instead reported back to her brother, says Isaacson. She told him who his father was and where he had encountered him. In the taped interview, Jobs says of his father:
“When I was looking for my biological mother, obviously, you know, I was looking for my biological father at the same time, and I learned a little bit about him and I didn’t like what I learned. I asked her to not tell him that we ever met…not tell him anything about me.”
Steve Jobs’ sister, Mona Simpson, isn’t just a novelist, but the inspiration for Homer Simpson’s mother.
As for Jandali, these days, Jandali is the president of a casino chain in Reno, Nevada. He said that Syrian pride prevented him from getting in contact with Jobs all these years, although after Jobs’ death, he did admit he’d sent small email birthday wishes to his son over the years.