Inside Steve Jobs' FBI File: 'A Deceptive Individual'

Apple founder's character questioned by many interviewees
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2012 10:55 AM CST
Inside Steve Jobs' FBI File: 'A Deceptive Individual'
In this June 6, 2011 file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is shown during a keynote address to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – Steve Jobs had an FBI file, assembled during a 1991 background check when Jobs was being considered for an appointment by George HW Bush, and the agency has just made it public after a FOIA request from the Wall Street Journal. Read all 191 pages here, or check out highlights below from the Journal and Gawker:

  • Jobs' past drug use is a frequent topic in the file, but interviewees seem to agree that he had left that lifestyle behind him.
  • One man calling himself a former "good friend" of Jobs said that the Apple founder is "basically … honest and trustworthy," but that "his moral character is suspect." Jobs, the man continued, "alienated a large number of people at Apple, as a result of his ambition."
  • Another source did not want to discuss Jobs, due to "questions concerning his ethics and morality."

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  • One quote from a memo summarizing Jobs' background investigation: "Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals."
  • Some interviewees also said Jobs had not been supportive of his born-out-of-wedlock daughter or her mother, until recently.
  • One interviewee, according to the memo, described Jobs as "a deceptive individual who who is not completely forthright and honest." Others said Jobs "has integrity as long as he gets his way."
But it's not all bad: Two individuals called Jobs "hardworking and driven," and another source says that Jobs' involvement in eastern religion improved his life. (Read more Steve Jobs stories.)

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