Ever since I have been working with my computer I became fascinate with the man behind it, Steve Jobs, his whole life, family, interest, I have told you the story of his wife Laurene, mother Joanne, father John Jandali, daughter Lisa, Patty Jobs the sister he grew up with as both Steve and Patti where blessed to have Mr. and Mrs. Jobs as parents, today however a beautiful, talented woman called my attention, his other sister Mona Jandali, who many of you know as Mona Simpson, Let’s dig a little into her life.
Mona Jandali was born on June 14th 1957 in Green Bay Wisconsin to Joanne Carole Schieble now Joanne Simpson and Syrian father Abdulfattah Jandali. Before Mona’s birth her parents had another child Steve, born on February 24, 1955 due to her young age (23) and economic difficulties they gave him to adoption to Paul and Clara Jobs.
Mona’s maternal grandparents were preoccupied about Jandali’s religion, but even so they finally got married on December 26th, 1955 in Preble, Wisconsin. Mona was just a baby when her father went back to Syria looking for a better life to support his family, however it took him 4 years get back to his family in the U.S, in those years Mona never heard from him, but her dreams of having her father in her life never went way, when her father came back from Syria her parents split up and their divorce was finalized in 1962
Check Joanne Simpson’s bio here
Read Mona Jandali Simpson’s father John Jandali’s bio here.
When Mona was 11 her mom remarried to a good man named George Simpson on April 23, 1966, her mother became Joanne Simpson and Mona asked to take her stepfather name too so she did that is how today we know her as Mona Simpson the famous novelist.
In a terrific article Mona wrote at the New York Post called A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs, she talked about her father and the day at age 25 living in New and getting ready to write her first novel she met the one man she was so eager to have in her life to her surprise it wasn’t her dad but her best friend, her beloved brother Steve Jobs..
I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us. Later, after I’d met my father, I tried to believe he’d changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.
When I met Steve, he was a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking and handsomer than Omar Sharif.
We took a long walk — something, it happened, that we both liked to do. I don’t remember much of what we said that first day, only that he felt like someone I’d pick to be a friend. He explained that he worked in computers. I didn’t know much about computers. I still worked on a manual Olivetti typewriter.
I told Steve I’d recently considered my first purchase of a computer: something called the Cromemco. Steve told me it was a good thing I’d waited. He said he was making something that was going to be insanely beautiful.
Mona Simpson went to the University of California where she got her B.A and MFA from Columbia, on 1993 Mona got married to Richard Appel, her brother walked her to he altar, Appel is one of The Simpson’s writer, they had two children together Gabriel and Grace now ages 17 and 11, Mona, Richard moved to Paris where she worked at the Paris review, returning to Los Angeles on 1994, she joined UCLA’ English department and later also at Bard College in NY, Mona and Appel got divorced years later but remained friends.
Mona Simpson’s first book Whiting Prize was published on 1986, The Lost Father on 1992, a Regular Guy on 1996, on 2000 Off Keck Road and My Hollywood on 2010. Her talents didn’t go unnoticed from 1986 to 2008 Mona Jandali Simpson has been awarded with the Whiting Prize, Hodder Fellowship, Lila Wallace Readers Digest Fellowship, Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters to name a few.
Mona’s relationship with her brother was like magic, is Mona could pick one word to described his brother I am sure she would pick LOVE, he was a romantic, until day one and from the next 27 years that Mona had with /Steve she found that Love was what make his brother strong, fascinated and a genius love for life, for his family, his children, his soul mate Laurene, his parents his sisters Patti and herself for his work and the beauty he saw in every aspect of his life..
Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods. He tracked and worried about the romantic lives of the people working with him.
I remember when he phoned the day he met Laurene. “There’s this beautiful woman and she’s really smart and she has this dog and I’m going to marry her.”
When Reed was born, he began gushing and never stopped. He was a physical dad, with each of his children. He fretted over Lisa’s boyfriends and Erin’s travel and skirt lengths and Eve’s safety around the horses she adored. His abiding love for Laurene sustained him. He believed that love happened all the time, everywhere. In that most important way, Steve was never ironic, never cynical, never pessimistic. I try to learn from that, still. With his four children, with his wife, with all of us, Steve had a lot of fun.
He treasured happiness.
Mona also talked about Steve illness, final days and final words..
What amazed me, and what I learned from his illness, was how much was still left after so much had been taken away. I realized during that terrifying time that Steve was not enduring the pain for himself. He set destinations: his son Reed’s graduation from high school, his daughter Erin’s trip to Kyoto, the launching of a boat he was building on which he planned to take his family around the world and where he hoped he and Laurene would someday retire.
Tuesday morning, he called me to ask me to hurry up to Palo Alto. His tone was affectionate, dear, loving, but like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us.
He started his farewell and I stopped him. I said, “Wait. I’m coming. I’m in a taxi to the airport. I’ll be there. I’m telling you now because I’m afraid you won’t make it on time, honey.”
But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve’s capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.
Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.
Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
Steve’s final words were:
OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.
This was amazing right, what surprise me is that both of Steve Jobs’ sister speak of a different man biographer Walter Isaacson speaks about, I have been in contact with sister Patti, she is considering writing a book herself she doesn’t agree with Isaacson bio about her brother and I am sure like Mona Patti’s story about her brother will be breathtaking.
Author Mona Simpson, Sister to Steve Jobs
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