Lisa Brennan-Jobs

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Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Brennan-Jobs in August 2005 (A JPG image)
Brennan-Jobs in August 2005
Born Lisa Nicole Brennan
(1978-05-17) May 17, 1978 (age 37)
All One Farm commune, Oregon
Nationality American
Alma mater

Lisa Nicole Brennan-Jobs (born Lisa Nicole Brennan May 17, 1978) is the first child of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and early Apple employee and Jobs' high school girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan.

Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, and Makenzie Moss will portray Brennan-Jobs at different ages in director Danny Boyle's upcoming 2015 film, Steve Jobs. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin notes that he discussed the screenplay with Brennan-Jobs in advance and that she is the "heroine of the film."[1]

Birth and the Apple Lisa[edit]

Lisa Nicole Brennan was born on May 17, 1978 on Robert Friedland's All One Farm commune, "about forty miles southwest of" Portland, Oregon.[2][3] Her mother, Chrisann Brennan and her father, Steve Jobs, first met at Homestead High School in 1972 and had an on and off again relationship for the next five years.[2][3] In 1977, Chrisann and Steve shared a house near the Apple office in Cupertino with Daniel Kottke (Steve's Reed College friend), as all three worked at Apple.[2][3][4] It was during this period that Chrisann became pregnant. Steve, however, did not assume responsibility for the pregnancy, which led Chrisann to end the relationship, leave their shared home, and support herself by cleaning houses.[3]

In 1978, Chrisann moved to the All One Farm commune to have the baby. Steve was not present for the baby's birth, however. He only came up three days after the birth as Friedland (another Reed College friend) persuaded him to do so. While there, Chrisann and Steve named the baby Lisa. A short while later, Steve would give the same name to the computer project he was working on, The Apple Lisa. He had his team come up with the phrase, "Local Integrated Software Architecture" as an alternative explanation for the name given to the project.[2][5] Decades later Steve admitted that "obviously, it was named for my daughter."[2]

Paternity case and reconciliation[edit]

Steve, however, publicly denied paternity after she was born, which led to a legal case. Even after a DNA test established him as her father, Steve continued to deny it.[2][5][6] It required him to give Chrisann $385 a month in addition to returning the money she had received from welfare. Steve gave her $500 a month after Apple went public, and Steve became a millionaire.[3] Michael Moritz interviewed Steve, Crissann, and a number of others for the 1982 Time Person of the Year special issue (released on January 3, 1983). In his interview, Steve questioned the reliability of the paternity test (which stated that the "probability of paternity for Jobs, Steven... is 94.1%").[7] Steve responded by arguing that "28% of the male population of the United States could be the father."[2][3][7] Rather than name Steve "Person of the Year" (as he and many others expected while giving the interviews), the issue was instead titled: "Machine of the Year: The Computer Moves In."[8] The thematic change occurred after Moritz heard both comments about both Steve's management style and about Brennan-Jobs.[2][3]

Years later, after Steve left Apple, "he apologized many times over for his behavior" to Lisa and her mother and "said that he never took responsibility when he should have, and that he was sorry."[3] After reconciling with her, Lisa wanted to change her name and Steve was happy to do so. Steve legally changed her birth certificate, shifting her name from Lisa Brennan to Lisa Brennan-Jobs.[9] Chrisann credits the change in Steve to the influence of his newly found biological sister, the American author Mona Simpson, who worked to repair the relationship between Brennan-Jobs and Steve.[3]

Education and career[edit]

When Brennan-Jobs was living with her mother, she attended The Nueva School. Later, after she moved in with her father, she attended Palo Alto High School. She began Harvard University in 1996 and studied overseas for one year at King's College London.[2] While a student at Harvard, she wrote for The Harvard Crimson.[10] She graduated from Harvard in 2000.[2]

After graduation, Brennan-Jobs moved to Manhattan to work as a writer.[2] She has written for The The Southwest Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Harvard Advocate, Spiked, Vogue, and O, The Oprah Magazine.[5][6]

Representations in film and literature[edit]

Feature films[edit]

  • In the 1999 TNT made-for-TV film, Pirates of Silicon Valley, Brennan-Jobs is played by Brooke Radding.
  • In the 2013 film Jobs, Brennan-Jobs is played as a child by Ava Acres, and as an adult by Annika Bertea.
  • In the upcoming 2015 film Steve Jobs, Brennan-Jobs is portrayed at different ages by Perla Haney-Jardine, Ripley Sobo, and Makenzie Moss.


  • Mona Simpson wrote three novels about her biological family with Steve Jobs. A Regular Guy (1996) is a work of fiction that is loosely based on the story of Jobs, Lisa, and Chrisann.[2]


  1. ^ Miller, Ross (2014-11-17). "Aaron Sorkin says Steve Jobs' daughter Lisa is the hero of his film". The Verge. Retrieved 2015-07-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs. Simon & Schuster. p. ebook. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brennan, Chrisann (October 29, 2013). The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs. St. Martin's Griffin. p. ebook. 
  4. ^ Edwards, Jim (December 26, 2013). "These Pictures Of Apple's First Employees Are Absolutely Wonderful". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-01-19. 
  5. ^ a b c Diane, Bullock (2011-10-06). "The Kids of Business Icons: Lisa Brennan-Jobs". Minyanville. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  6. ^ a b Bora, Kukil (2011-10-07). "Steve Jobs’ Daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the Girl Who Was Denied Paternity". International Business Times. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  7. ^ a b Cocks Jay. Reported by Michael Moritz. "The Updated Book of Jobs" in Machine of the Year: The Computer Moves in. Time Magazine, January 3, 1983:27.
  8. ^ Machine of the Year: The Computer Moves in. Time Magazine, January 3, 1983
  9. ^ “Fast-forward six years when Lisa was nine, after she and her father had grown to know and love each other … It was in that window of time that Steve and Lisa decided to get her birth certificate straightened out. At nine, Lisa went from Lisa Brennan to Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Steve told me that he could hardly believe that she wanted to take his name. Very plainly relieved and honest, he said, 'I am just so happy that she does' … William Fenwick of Fenwick & West was the lawyer Steve used to fact-check and change the birth certificate." In Brennan, Chrisann. THE BITE IN THE APPLE:A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs. St. Martin's Griffin. p. ebook. 
  10. ^ "Lisa N. Brennan-jobs - Writer Profile". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 

External links[edit]