Those familiar with Steve Jobs’ life story know that Jobs was adopted as a child and has never met his birth parents. It’s also well known that Jobs’ biological father is of Syrian descent, named Abdulfattah John Jandali who currently serves as the VP of Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Reno, Nevada.
In a recent string of interviews, Jandali explains the circumstances surrounding his decision to give up a young Steve Jobs for adoption.
In 1955, Jandali’s then-girlfriend Joanne Simpson became pregnant with Jobs. Due to the cultural norms of the time, not to mention Simpson’s opposition to the relationship on account of Jandali’s ethnicity, the couple decided to give Jobs up for adoption. It wasn’t an easy decision for the couple, and Jandali even went so far as to propose to Simpson to spare the couple the shame of having a baby out of wedlock. Simpson’s father, however, vehemently opposed his daughter marrying a Syrian.
Recounting the tension at the time, Jandali explained: “”Her father was a tyrant, and forbade her to marry me, as I was from Syria.”
So in 1955, Simpson travelled to San Francisco, without telling Jandali, where she birthed Steve Jobs who was subsequently adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. At the time, the Jobs’ lived in Mountain View, California, which you may now recognize as the home of Google.
Simpson’s father died a few months later which enabled Jandali and Simpson to reunite. Of course by that time, the adoption was already finalized and there was nothing the couple could do. Since then, the couple went on to have more children that they were able to raise themselves.
Looking back on the events that transpired, Jandali expresses regret for giving up his son for adoption.
“I honestly do not know to this day if Steve is aware of the fact that had it been my choice, I would have loved to have kept him.”