The Who2 Blog

Steve Jobs’ FBI File: Distortion, Drugs and Funny Fax Forms

Steve Jobs “possesses integrity as long as he gets his way.”
That’s one of many amusing comments from Jobs’s FBI file, which the FBI released yesterday. Jobs was nominated by President George Bush (the Elder) for an unpaid spot on the President’s Export Council in 1991, and the FBI did the background check.
Some highlights from the full FBI report:
  • Steve Jobs’ Social Security number was 549-94-3295.
  • He had “no close relatives living in communist-controlled countries.”
  • “Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty, stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.”
  • Others “recommended Mr. Jobs for a position of trust and responsibility” and said “Mr. Jobs possesses integrity as long as he gets his way.” 
  • Quote from another unnamed colleague: “Although the Appointee is basically an honest and trustworthy person, he is a complex individual and his moral character is suspect…. He added that the Appointee is technically oriented but is in the opinion of many, not an engineer, since he never actually graduated from College with a degree in engineering.”
  • An Apple employee “stated that during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mr. Jobs may have experimented with illegal drugs, having come from that generation.”  
  • But hey, Jobs himself told the FBI that “during the period of approximately 1970-74 he experimented with marijuana, hashish and LSD. This was during high school and college and he mostly used these substances by himself.”
  • Speaking of the 1970s, the FBI got Jobs’s address in Portland, Oregon wrong. They put him at 3203 Eastwood Stock Boulevard instead of East Woodstock Boulevard. 
  • Finally, Jobs was “not a member of the communist party and did not belong to any organizations that espoused the overthrow of the government.”
The names of the interviewees were blacked out in the file, so we can’t tell who was saying what. (Woz, is that you?) Many had negative things to say about Job’s personality while also praising his abilities. A typical comment: “She described his personal life as lacking due to his narcissism and shallowness. She added at the same time that he has far reaching vision and can vitalize plans and goals.”
Nearly everyone said Steve Jobs was qualified for government work. Jobs passed the checks and served on the council.
One other wonderful touch from 1991: the silly graphic on an internal FBI fax form:
Even G-Men need a chuckle now and then.

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