Ronald Wayne at Macworld 2009
|Born||Ronald Gerald Wayne
May 17, 1934
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Ronald Gerald Wayne (born May 17, 1934) is a retired American electronics industry worker. He co-founded Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) with Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, providing key administrative oversight for the new venture. He soon, however, gave up his share of the new company for a total of $800.
Wayne worked with Steve Jobs at Atari before he, Jobs, and Wozniak founded Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. Serving as the venture's "adult supervision", Wayne drew the first Apple logo, wrote the three men's original partnership agreement, and wrote the Apple I manual.
Wayne received a 10% stake in Apple but relinquished his stock for US$800 less than two weeks later, on April 12, 1976. Legally, all members of a partnership are personally responsible for any debts incurred by any partner; unlike Jobs and Wozniak, then 21 and 25, Wayne had personal assets that potential creditors could seize. The failure of a slot machine company that he had started five years earlier also contributed to his decision to exit the partnership.
Later that year, venture capitalist Arthur Rock and Mike Markkula helped develop a business plan and convert the partnership to a corporation. Wayne received another check, for $1,500, for his agreement to forfeit any claims against the new company. In its first year of operations (1976), Apple's sales reached US$174,000. In 1977 sales rose to US$2.7 million, in 1978 to US$7.8 million, and in 1980 to US$117 million. By 1982 Apple had a billion dollars in annual sales. By September 2012, Apple became the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, with an estimated value of US$626 billion. Wayne has stated that he does not regret selling the stock as he made the "best decision with the information available to me at the time".
Wayne also stated that he felt the Apple enterprise "would be successful, but at the same time there would be significant bumps along the way and I couldn't risk it. I had already had a rather unfortunate business experience before. I was getting too old and those two were whirlwinds. It was like having a tiger by the tail and I couldn't keep up with these guys." Had he kept his 10% stock it would have been worth over 35 billion dollars in August 2011.
After leaving Apple, Wayne resisted Jobs's attempts to recruit him back to Apple, remaining at Atari until 1978 when he joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and later an electronics company in Salinas, California. He is retired and now lives a quiet lifestyle in a Pahrump Nevada Mobile Home Park  selling stamps and rare coins in Pahrump, Nevada, and had never owned an Apple product until 2011, when he was given an iPad 2 by Aral Balkan at the Update Conference in Brighton, United Kingdom.
Wayne also ran a stamp shop in Milpitas, California for a short period of time in the late 1970s, "Wayne's Philatelics", on Dempsey Road. After a number of break-ins he moved his stamp operations to Nevada. The logo for the business was a wood-cut style design, with a man sitting under an apple tree, with the "Wayne's Philatelics" name written in a flowing ribbon curved around the tree. This was the original logo he designed for Apple Computer.
He holds a dozen patents but never had enough capital to make money from any of them.
Wayne has also written a socio-economic treatise titled Insolence of Office, released on October 1, 2011 which he describes as:
...the product of decades of research and observation into the evolution of human governance, and the foundations of the American Constitutional Republic. Through this analysis the reader is introduced to a complete, yet simplified understanding of the architecture of our Constitution, its foundations, principles, and the essential meaning of its structure all in the context of modern living.
According to Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, Wayne came out as gay to Jobs shortly after February 1974, while both men were employees at Atari. Jobs later told Isaacson that "It was my first encounter with someone who I knew was gay." Wayne recalled to Isaacson that "Nobody at Atari knew, and I could count on my toes and fingers the number of people I told in my whole life. But I guess it just felt right to tell him, that he would understand, and it didn't have any effect on our relationship."
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- "Pahrump Nevada Man Could Have Been Apple Billionaire now lives in Mobile Home Park". June 25, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
- Bruce Newman (June 9, 2010). "June 9, 2010:For obscure Apple co-founder, misstep was a costly one". The Seattle Times.
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- 512k Entertainment (January 1, 2008). "Welcome to Macintosh – Trailer".
- Andy Towle (October 24, 2011). "Steve Jobs Describes the First Time He Met a Gay Man, in New Bio". Towleroad.
- Ron Wayne – Official Website
- Ron Wayne on Facebook
- Ron Wayne on Twitter
- Ron Wayne interview by OMT
- NPR report "Lost" Apple Founder Has No Regrets – June 13, 2010
- Ron Wayne, Apple Co-Founder, Shares Steve Jobs' "Richest Man in the Cemetery" Sentiment Almost Verbatim, Village Voice, October 8, 2011