NYPost recently interviewed Steve Jobs’ biological father. Steve Jobs, ex-CEO of Apple, is the biological son of an Arab American Abdulfattah John Jandali who was born in Homs, Syria, and studied at the American University of Beirut. At the age of 80, Abdulfattah John Jandali, is an executive vice president of a Reno casino and doesn’t believe in retirement. Here are some of the excerpts:
But much to his regret, they have one additional thing in common: Each is unwilling to speak with the other.
“This might sound strange, though, but I am not prepared, even if either of us was on our deathbeds, to pick up the phone to call him,” Jandali said.
“Steve will have to do that, as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune,” he said.
For all his accomplishments, the Syrian immigrant says he is overcome with guilt over his treatment of Jobs, 56, and given his son’s health woes and decision this week to step down as Apple CEO, fears time is running out.
“Now I just live in hope that, before it is too late, he will reach out to me, because even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man,” he said.
Jandali learned only in recent years that the son his ex-wife gave up for adoption 56 years ago grew up to be the Edison of his age.
“I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t sadden me to have not been part of my son’s incredible journey,” he said. “What father wouldn’t think that? And I would think that even if he was not the head of a hugely successful company.”
In 1955, Jandali’s girlfriend Joanne Simpson became pregnant, and though he wanted to marry her, he says her family would not allow it.
“I was very much in love with Joanne,” he said. “But sadly, her father was a tyrant, and forbade her to marry me, as I was from Syria. And so she told me she wanted to give the baby up for adoption.”
The pair were living in Wisconsin back then, he said.
“Without telling me, Joanne upped and left to move to San Francisco to have the baby without anyone knowing, including me,” he said.”She did not want to bring shame onto the family and thought this was the best for everyone.”
Jandali would have preferred to keep the baby, but he respected her wishes, he said.
“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,” he said.
“I think after we got back together, Joanne had second thoughts about adoption, but by then, there was nothing we could do about it.”
Joanne’s dad died just a few months after they gave their son up for adoption, and she agreed to marry John.
“If we had just held off for a few months, then we would have been able to raise Steve as our own, but sadly, that was not the case,” Jandali said. “We often spoke of our son and how we both wished he was with us, especially when Joanne gave birth to Steve’s sister, Mona. But nothing to do with Joanne and I was ever meant to be.”
He took the family to Syria, but Simpson was unhappy there and left with Mona, who was 4 at the time, to return to the States.
While Jandali has never phoned his missing son, he has on several occasions sent him e-mails on his birthday.
“I can’t remember exactly what I wrote in them,” he said. “But I know they were very short and to the point. I would wish him ‘Happy Birthday’ and continued good health, and sign them with my name, and not ‘dad.’ ”
He did it out of respect for the adoptive parents, he said.
“Because I really am not his dad. Mr. and Mrs. Jobs are, as they raised him. And I don’t want to take their place. I just would like to get to know this amazing man I helped in a very small way to produce.”
Despite calling himself a “computer dunce,” he owns a Mac computer, iPhone and iPad, desperate to support his son in some small way.
“I honestly look at these things and cannot believe Steve created them,” he said.