#Steve #Wozniak #Biography
Steve Wozniak, better known as Woz, is a pioneering figure in the tech industry. With Steve Jobs, he co-founded Apple Inc. in 1976 and is a significant contributor to the revolution of personal computers. Woz is remembered for his unique design of Apple I and II, machines that evolved to be at a forefront of the PC industry. Even after stepping back from active operations at Apple, Wozniak continues to nurture creativity and innovations, serving as a mentor and philanthropist to the young inventors.
Early Life of Wozniak
Born on August 11, 1950, as Stephan Gary Wozniak, in San Jose, California, he exhibited a huge interest in technology and electronics from a very young age. His father Lockheed Martin was an engineer, nurtured and influenced the same passion. When he was in his teens, Woz started improving his computer designing skills. He continued his education at Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. During these high school years, Woz met Steve Jobs through a mutual friend, thus marking the beginning of the most iconic friendship in the technology industry.
After High School, Woz attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he was exposed to the burgeoning technology culture of the San Francisco Bay Area. Though he had to drop out because of financial constraints, he further continued his technical pursuits. During this period Woz and Jobs attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club together, inspiring their interest in making their own hardware.
After Berkeley, Woz joined Hewlett-Packard (HP) as an electronic engineer, where he started designing calculators. At the same time, he worked with Jobs to design a computer circuit board, initially intended to be a personal and fun project. The project culminated in the groundbreaking Apple I, thus setting the foundation of Apple Inc. and shifting the path of Woz’s life. Despite the trajectory of his future career, Woz eventually went to finish his degree in 1986 from Berkeley.
Career and Research
Woz was a bright and inventive child and displayed a knack for mathematics and engineering from a very early age. His true passion lay in designing computers and after sharing his views and ideas with Jobs, they set out to form their own company.
In 1976, Woz and Jobs co-founded Apple Inc., creating their first computer together, the Apple I, in the garage of Job’s parents. The next year, Wozniak introduced the Apple II which was more successful and user-friendly. His programming and design contributions significantly influenced personal computer development, thus making computing available to the masses.
Wozniak left Apple officially in February 1985. Despite his departure, he was kept on the payroll and remained a shareholder, embodying the heart and spirit of the company. Woz stated his decision to leave Apple was motivated by a diminished interest in the daily running of the company and a wish to focus on other ventures and philanthropy. He also had certain reservations about the direction Apple was taking without Jobs, who also had left by that time. After Apple, Woz got engaged in many other businesses, including founding CL 9, a remote control company, and got involved in a variety of tech education initiatives.
Wozniak was married four times, his current wife being Janet Hill whom he married in 2008. He has three kids from his previous marriages, Jesse John Wozniak, Sara Nadine Wozniak, and Gary Patrick Wozniak. Wozniak and his family live in Los Gatos, California. Despite his popularity, Wozniak has kept his family life private, sharing only limited information with the public.
Awards and Accolades
Over the course of years, Wozniak’s pioneering innovations and contributions to technology have earned him many awards. He, with Steve Jobs, was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Ronal Reagan in 1986. It was considered the highest honor in America for technological achievement. In 1997, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was awarded the Global Award of the President of Armenia for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity Through IT. All these awards and recognition underscore his critical role in the revolution of personal computing.