Steve Jobs’s biological father, 80 year old Syrian immigrant Abdulfattah John Jandali, said in an interview this weekend that he regrets giving up his son for adoption. According to The New York Post, Mr. Jandali said that he and Steve Jobs have never met or spoken, but that he would like to do so.
Abdulfattah John Jandali
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“This might sound strange, though, but I am not prepared, even if either of us was on our deathbeds, to pick up the phone to call him,” Mr. Jandali said. “Steve will have to do that, as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune.”
According to Mr. Jandali, he had asked his girlfriend, Joanne Simpson, to marry him after she became pregnant, but that her father forbade the marriage because of Mr. Jandali’s Syrian origins.
It being 1955, Ms. Simpson then skipped off to San Francisco to have the baby in order to spare the family any shame at the out-of-wedlock birth, where the baby was then adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, who then lived in Mountain View. [Editor’s Note: Ask your parents or grandparents about getting pregnant out of marriage in the U.S. in the 1950s if that sounds kooky to you. - Editor]
Mr. Jandali also said that Ms. Simpson’s father died soon after the birth, that the two reunited, but that it was too late to do anything about the adoption.
Mr. Jandali, who goes by John in his adoptive country, is still working, despite being 80 years old. He is the vice president of the Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Reno, NV, casino. According to the Post, he works six days a week, gets up every morning at 5:00 AM to work out in a gym, and drives himself to work in a Jeep Cherokee.
“Now I just live in hope that, before it is too late, he will reach out to me, because even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man,” he said. “Because I really am not his dad. Mr. and Mrs. Jobs are, as they raised him. And I don’t want to take their place. I just would like to get to know this amazing man I helped in a very small way to produce.”