The FBI recently released and posted Steve Jobs’ FBI file, which includes 191 pages of information, is primarily from a background investigation that was conducted in 1991 when Jobs was being considered for an appointment to the President’s Export Council. It also features information from a 1985 bomb threat made against him.
Jobs’ FBI file contains several character reports, where individuals are mentioned commenting on his drug use, his lack of truthfulness, and his lack of support for his daughter.
Here are a few gems:
- [Redacted] advised that he has been acquainted with Mr. Jobs since [redacted]. He characterized Mr. Jobs as a deceptive individual who is not completely forthright and honest.
- [Redacted] advised that he is no longer friends with Mr. Jobs. He feels bitter toward and alienated by Mr. Jobs based on his association with Mr. Jobs at ACI. He characterized Mr. Jobs as an honest and trustworthy individual; however, his moral character is questionable.
- She stated she was somewhat reluctant to discuss the Appointee since she has questions concerning his ethics and his morality.
- Jobs graduated from Homestead High School in 1972, with a 2.65 GPA.
Despite the negative feedback, Jobs served on the President’s Export Council under the first Bush Administration. Export Council Members are unpaid, and meet twice a year to advise the president on trade policy.
According to John Cook of the Gawker, who has had the privilege of reading many FBI files over the years, it is unusual for so much derogatory information to be dredged up.
However, many of the interviewees did mention his upstanding moral character, and even those with less than positive things to say went on to recommend him for the position.
The information in the FBI file isn’t exactly new. Jobs was known for his rash behavior, his anger, and his penchant for making enemies, plus his drug use and mistreatment of his daughter were revealed in his biography written by Walter Isaacson last year.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the FBI file can be found on page 149, which reveals that jobs was given Top Secret security clearance in 1988, later terminated in 1990.
According to a source who worked with Jobs, the clearance was given to people at Pixar who were working on an image rendering software system that could be used to enhance satellite surveillance photographs and film.
While there’s not much we didn’t know about Jobs in the file, it’s still interesting to go back and read first hand accounts of what the people closest to him really thought about him. Want to check out the FBI file for yourself? Just click this link.