The Poor Tale of Apple's 3rd Founder

Ron Wayne sold his 10% stake for just $800
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2010 11:57 AM CDT
Updated Jun 12, 2010 1:29 PM CDT
Workers apply the Apple logo to the exterior of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in preparation for an Apple special event January 26, 2010 in San Francisco.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – You know Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as Apple's founders, but you probably don't know the tale of third founder Ron Wayne. The Chicago Tribune presents the somewhat sad story of the then 42-year-old, who designed the original logo and wrote the manual for the Apple I computer—but got out of the company after just 12 days, spooked by 21-year-old Jobs' wild spending habits and the fact that he was the only founder with any assets that creditors could seize. So he cashed in his 10% stake for $800. Had he held onto it, it would be worth $22 billion.

Wayne's current reality is a much, much more modest one. The Tribune paints a picture of a man who cashes in his Social Security checks, then heads to play penny slots at a Nevada casino. He sells stamps and rare coins to pad his income, has never owned an Apple product, and hasn't heard from Jobs in years. "I don't waste my time getting frustrated about things that didn't work out," he says. "Why should I go back and 'what if' myself? If I did, I'd be in a rubber room by now." But then he adds, "Unfortunately, my whole life has been a day late and a dollar short."

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