Brennan-Jobs in August 2005
|Born||Lisa Nicole Brennan-Jobs
May 17, 1978
Lisa Nicole Brennan-Jobs (born May 17, 1978) is the first child of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Her mother, Chrisann Brennan, wrote a 2013 memoir about her relationship with Steve Jobs entitled The Bite in the Apple.
Brennan-Jobs has written for The Southwest Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Harvard Crimson, The Harvard Advocate, Vogue, Los Angeles Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, and Makenzie Moss will portray her (at different ages) in the upcoming film, Steve Jobs.
Childhood and education
Lisa's mother, Chrisann Brennan was living with Steve Jobs (whom she had been involved with in an on-again, off-again relationship since they first met at Homestead High in 1972) and Daniel Kottke (Job's Reed College friend and fellow Apple employee) in a house near the Apple office in Cupertino in October 1977. Chrisann was also working at Apple in the Shipping Department (where she was part of a team that tested, assembled, and shipped Apple IIs with Richard Johnson and Bob Martinengo whom she enjoyed working with). Apple's Rod Hold asked Brennan to take "a paid apprenticeship designing blueprints for the Apples" (a position which Jobs also wanted her to have). At the same time, Brennan found out that she was pregnant. It took her a few days to tell Jobs, whose face, according to Brennan "turned ugly" at the news. In addition, according to Brennan, at the beginning of her third trimester, Jobs said to her: “I never wanted to ask that you get an abortion. I just didn’t want to do that.”He also refused to discuss the pregnancy with her. Brennan, herself, felt confused about what to do. She was estranged from her mother and afraid to discuss the matter with her father. She also did not feel comfortable with the idea of having an abortion. Meanwhile, Holt was waiting for her decision on the internship. Brennan states that Jobs continued to encourage her to take the internship, stating that she could "be pregnant and work at Apple, you can take the job. I don’t get what the problem is.” Brennan however notes that she "felt so ashamed: the thought of my growing belly in the professional environment at Apple, with the child being his, while he was unpredictable, in turn being punishing and sentimentally ridiculous. I could not have endured it." Brennan thus turned down the internship and decided to leave Apple. She states that Jobs told her "If you give up this baby for adoption, you will be sorry" and “I am never going to help you.”
Now alone, Brennan was on welfare and cleaning houses to earn money. She would also ask Jobs for money at times which he refused. Brennan hid her pregnancy for as long as she could, living in a variety of homes, and continuing her work with Zen meditation. At the same time, according to Brennan, Jobs "started to seed people with the notion that I slept around and he was infertile, which meant that this could not be his child." A few weeks before her baby was due, Brennan was invited to have her baby at the All in One Farm, a commune in Oregon and she accepted the offer.
At the age of 24, Brennan gave birth to her baby, Lisa Brennan on May 17, 1978. Jobs initially did not come up for the birth. He eventually did so after he was contacted by Robert Friedland, their mutual friend and owner of the All in One Farm. While distant, Jobs worked with her on a name for the baby, which they discussed sitting in the fields on a blanket. Brennan suggested the name "Lisa" which Jobs also liked and notes that Jobs was very attached to the name "Lisa" while he "was also publicly denying paternity." She would discover later that during this time, Jobs was preparing to unveil a new kind of computer that he wanted to give a female name (his first choice was "Claire" after St. Clare ). She also states that she never gave him permission to use the baby's name for a computer and he hid the plans from her. Jobs also worked with his team to come up with the phrase, “Local Integrated Software Architecture" as an alternative explanation for the Apple Lisa (decades later, however, Jobs admitted to his biographer Walter Isaacson that "obviously, it was named for my daughter").
Brennan did explore adoption both before and after Lisa's birth, but ultimately decided to keep Lisa and become a single parent. Once, while staying with friends in the Bay Area, Jobs stopped by to see her. Brennan states that they went for a walk when Jobs said to her, “I am really sorry. I’ll be back, this thing with Apple will be over when I’m about thirty. I am really, really sorry.”
Brennan would also come under intense criticism from Jobs who claimed that “she doesn’t want money, she just wants me.” According to Brennan, Apple's Mike Scott wanted Jobs to give her money, while other Apple executives "advised him to ignore me or fight if I tried to go after a paternity settlement." Brennan also notes that later, after Jobs was forced out of Apple, "he apologized many times over for this behavior. He said that he never took responsibility when he should have, and that he was sorry." By this time, Jobs had developed a strong relationship with Lisa. When she was nine, Jobs had her birth certificate changed and her name went from "Lisa Brennan" to "Lisa Brennan-Jobs.
When Lisa was still a baby and Jobs continued to deny paternity, a DNA test was given that established him as Lisa's father. It required him to give Brennan $385 a month in addition to returning the money she had received from welfare. Jobs gave her $500 a month at the time when Apple went public, and Jobs became a millionaire. Brennan worked as a waitress in Palo Alto. Later, Brennan agreed to give an interview with Time Magazine for its 1982 Time Person of the Year special. She also decided to be honest about what had happened between her and Jobs. The article that resulted had a life long impact on Brennan. Rather than give Jobs the "Person of the Year" award, the issue was called "Machine of the Year." In addition, Jobs stated that the DNA test only proved that “28% of the male population in the United States could be the father.” After this issue, Brennan "didn’t pay much attention to Steve’s career again." Over the years, however, Brennan and Jobs developed a working relationship to co-parent Lisa, particularly after he was forced out of Apple. Brennan credits the change in him to the influence of his newly found biological sister, Mona Simpson, who worked to repair the relationship between Lisa and Jobs.
Lisa joined Harvard University as part of the entering class of 1996. She wrote for The Harvard Crimson and the Harvard Advocate and graduated from Harvard in 2000. She also spent a year studying at King's College London.
- Brennan, Chrisann. THE BITE IN THE APPLE:A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs. St. Martin's Griffin. p. ebook.
- "Extracts from Bloomberg's premature Steve Jobs obituary". The Telegraph. August 28, 2008. Archived from the original on February 18, 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
- "Confessions of a Lapsed Vegetarian."
- "Lisa N. Brennan-jobs - Writer Profile". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
- "Driving Jane."
- "Tuscan Holiday"
- "From Britain, Food for Thought."
- "I Can't Believe She Did That!."
- Han, Angie (2015-01-27). "Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’ Starts Shooting in San Francisco". /Film. Retrieved 2015-01-27.
- Edwards, Jim (2013-12-26). "These Pictures Of Apple's First Employees Are Absolutely Wonderful". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
- Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs. Simon & Schuster. p. ebook.
- Metz, Rachel (2013-10-15). "Steve Jobs' ex-girlfriend pens memoir on life with 'vicious' Apple founder". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-01-17.
- Bullock, Diane (August 31, 2010). "The Kids of Business Icons: Lisa Brennan-Jobs". Minyanville. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs. Simon & Schuster. p. 93. ISBN 1-4516-4853-7.
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