Jobs, like Gates, dropped out of college and never earned a degree. After dabbling in psychedelic drugs, communal life, and veganism at Reed College, Jobs decided he had no interest in pursuing a traditional course load.
In typical fashion, he talked his way into an unusual arrangement, negotiating with the school to audit classes of interest and skip the rest. One of those classes he sampled, calligraphy, later contributed to the way that the Macintosh would spur a desktop publishing revolution with its array of fonts, impeccable spacing, and attention to every detail of typography.
Emotionally, Jobs was immature and bratty almost without fail. Temperamental artist would be a euphemistic description in his case.
In the rest of his life, Jobs ran well ahead of the pack. As a fourth-grader, he tested at a 10th-grade level.
Even after dropping out of Reed and wandering through India on a spiritual quest, Jobs still managed to found Apple and take it public in December 1980, a move that made him worth a quarter of a billion dollars at age 25.
Beyond wealth, he attained celebrity. For a while, he dated protest singer Joan Baez, who was not only smart and attractive but carried the distinction of being the former lover of Bob Dylan, who was a lifelong hero to Jobs.
At 23, Jobs fathered a child, Lisa, with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan. He mostly ignored Lisa, with late but lasting regrets.
“I didn’t want to be a father, so I wasn’t,” Jobs said.
It is hard to remember, but there was a time when computers were intimidating instead of coveted. They were also confounding, shaped like clunky boxes with lousy screens and fonts, no graphics and an irritating, blinking cursor.
Jobs changed all of that with the Macintosh, then helped start the company on a downward spiral before being ousted in the mid-1980s.