By Amrutha Gayathri
Abdulfattah “John” Jandali — Steve Jobs’ biological father — had no comment Wednesday on the untimely death of his world-famous son, with whom he had no relationship.
Jandali, 80, a Syrian-American Muslim and ex-political science professor, had earlier expressed his regret for giving his son up for adoption.
“I really don’t have anything to say,” said Jandali, vice president at Boomtown Hotel Casino and a former professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. “I know” the news.
In an interview with The Sun in August, Jandali had expressed his desire to meet his son.
“I live in hope that before it is too late he will reach out to me,” he said. “Even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man.”
Jandali, then a political science student from Homs, Syria, and Joanne Carole Schieble, an American graduate student, were unmarried when Jobs was born in 1955. The baby was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, Calif., who named him Steven Paul.
Jobs apparently did not try to meet his father even after his public request for a reunion.
According to reports, Jandali regretted his interview with The Sun and told the Reno Gazette-Journal in September that he would not publicly discuss his son again.
When Job’s illness — a rare form of pancreatic disorder — was made public, Jandali mailed him his medical history in hopes it would help his treatment.
Even though Jandali was desperate to meet his son, he said his “Syrian pride” stopped him from reaching out to Jobs himself.
“This might sound strange, though, but I am not prepared, even if either of us was on our deathbed, to pick up the phone to call him,” Jandali told the Sun.
“Steve will have to do that as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune. I am not. I have my own money. What I don’t have is my son … and that saddens me.”
Jandali and Schieble were married 10 months after giving Jobs up for adoption and they gave birth to and raised Jobs’ biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson.
Though Jobs refused to meet his father, he shared a relationship with Simpson. She first met Jobs when they were adults, after she invited him to a party promoting her novel “Anywhere But Here,” where she revealed that they were siblings; Jobs was 27. He regularly visited her in Manhattan, a New York Times report said.
“My brother and I are very close, I admire him enormously,” Simpson told New York Times. Jobs said, “We’re family. She’s one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days.”
Getting to know his sister, and learning how similar they were, had a major effect on Jobs. Steve Lohr of The New York Times wrote: “The effect of all this on Jobs seems to be a certain sense of calming fatalism — less urgency to control his immediate environment and a greater trust that life’s outcomes are, to a certain degree, wired in the genes.”
A few years earlier, Jobs said he was certain that his character had been formed from his experiences, not his birth parents or genes. He frequently referred to his adopted parents as “the only real parents” that he ever had. From Simpson, Jobs would learn more details about their parents, and he invited his birth mother, Joanne Simpson, to a few events.
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