FBI memos paint Jobs as driven, reality-distorting visionary

Thu Feb 9, 2012 5:50pm EST

The main Apple Inc website featuring Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is seen on an iPhone in this photo illustration taken in Central Sydney October 6, 2011.  REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

The main Apple Inc website featuring Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is seen on an iPhone in this photo illustration taken in Central Sydney October 6, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

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(Reuters) - Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs, hailed as one of the greatest technology visionaries of his generation, dabbled in illicit drugs in his youth and alienated colleagues yet commanded universal respect, according to interviews conducted by the FBI in the 1990s.

A series of interviews with friends and associates -- whose names were redacted by the bureau -- painted a familiar picture of a technology visionary who intimidated associates and insisted on getting his way, but whose drive and vision inspired admiration.

The FBI in 1991 began questioning Jobs and associates as the increasingly high-profile CEO of Next Inc began to be considered as a candidate for sensitive, presidential appointments.

Jobs himself admitted in a 1991 interview, days before his wedding, that he had experimented with hashish and LSD in his youth.

According to the FBI, other interviewees called into question his personal integrity and said that he was difficult to work with -- no surprise to those familiar with a life story that emerged over the decades of an intensely private individual.

Yet the majority of those interviewed recommended Jobs as fit for government.

"Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals," the FBI wrote in a summary.

Jobs died in October after a years-long struggle with cancer. He was recognized for his enormous impact on the media, music and technology industries through such innovations as Apple's iPod and iPhone.

For the full set of FBI memos, released under the Freedom of Information Act, see: here

(Reporting By Edwin Chan and Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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Comments (4)
typohero wrote:
“Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals,” the FBI wrote in a summary.
I seriously doubt the honesty of US federal government myself. They are a bunch of cold blooded murderers of 1st class. The more you are down the happier they are.

Feb 09, 2012 12:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dpfulton wrote:
They redacted the names of the individuals who were sources for the profile, but left his SSN for public view?

Feb 09, 2012 2:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:
I saw a Ford Mustang being Driven by a guy that had a Reality Distorting Visionary paint Job on it.

Now that I think about it it might have been a FBI Agent driving it.

Feb 09, 2012 2:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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