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Steve Jobs' Childhood Home Draws Tourists; Stepmom Laments Resignation

'Its very, very sad,' Jobs' stepmother says, neighbors recall Apple's beginnings.

The modest home on the quiet Los Altos street where Steve Jobs grew up—and where Apple was born—has long been a tourist attraction for those in the know.

But Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after one of the most iconic CEOs in the world , it became an even stronger magnet, as  and even relatives grappled with the idea of Apple without Jobs at the helm. 

That includes Jobs' stepmother.

Hesitantly answering the door at the Crist Drive house, Marilyn Jobs, lamented Steve’s resignation.

“It’s sad. It’s very, very sad,” said the 78-year-old, who has lived in the 1,793-square-foot home for 20 years.

Marilyn was married to Steve’s father Paul, who is no longer alive. But it has been years since she last saw Steve.

“He is very much into himself,” she said. “He’s very dedicated to his own family.”

Steve grew up in the 1952-built home, attended Cupertino Jr. High School (now a middle school) and graduated from Homestead High School in 1972. Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak started Apple in the home after Jobs left Reed College.

Marilyn Jobs said that the three-bedroom, two-bath house is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors taking pictures in the driveway. As if to confirm this, a tourist from Virginia stopped in front of the house shortly after.

George Lowden, who went to Stanford University and is visiting family in Palo Alto, pulled up to the house with his two young sons to show them the tech icon's childhood home.

"These kids like computers and Apple in particular, so since we're here on vacation, we thought we'd drive by and I'd show them," he said. "We made a detour so the boys could see where Apple was formed."

Neighbor Patrick Grey said carloads of Japanese and European visitors mistakenly stop by his house asking if that’s where the famous garage is. In the 1999 book, "Apple Confidential: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company," journalist Owen W. Linzmayer described how the company actually started in one of the bedrooms, and moved to the garage when it got too crowded.

While Grey did not know Jobs, he recalls meeting Wozniak in the 1970s in a store selling the early computers on Sunnyvale-Saratoga Road.

"I went over to the store and there was this weird guy sitting on the floor, and I asked, 'Can you make it do this?' and he said 'Yeah, we can do that...we can make it do anything!'" said Grey.

"It was Steve Wozniak sitting on the floor, stocking shelves."

Brandt Hardin August 25, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Jobs is done but left his mark on every corner of wireless technology. It only leaves us asking who won the war between the two titans of modern computer technology? Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates / Apple vs. Microsoft– check out my rendering of an epic match-up of their cyborg selves on my artist's blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/08/end-of-era-steve-jobs.html
randy albin August 26, 2011 at 08:40 PM
wow, what a career for both woz and jobs. send some of those dividends over to me!
thorisa yap August 27, 2011 at 01:32 AM
Awesome place, I will take my children to visit this place before they are back to their colleges. It will make their day.
robbierotton August 28, 2011 at 12:27 AM
wait the article says she has lived in the home for only 20 years? Typo I guess? Never been to his child hood home would be fun to drive by at some point. I live very close to his current home here in Palo Alto. I still get very excited when I drive buy. I have even seen him twice walking in the area and once in his driveway. I have never stopped to say anything. I guess out of respect as being someone in his residential area. It's kinda hard to hold back as I'm a big Apple fanboy. I wish him only good health and happiness and comfort for his wonderful family.
Avni Nijhawan August 29, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Not a typo, Marilyn Jobs said she has lived there for the past 20 years.
Fred Gillis October 06, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Steve's mother Clara died in the mid '80's, and his father Paul remarried, which is how Steve acquired a stepmother, who apparently has lived in the home only 20 years. Steve's dad passed in 1992.

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