Steve Jobs’s Biological Father Was a Silicon Valley Restaurateur

The late great tipper.
The late great tipper.

Among the revelations that came out in last night’s 60 Minutes interview with Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson is the intriguing fact that Jobs unknowingly met his biological father — who along with his mother had given him up for adoption when he was an infant — because the father had once owned a large restaurant in Silicon Valley. Jobs’s biological sister, the writer Mona Simpson, went to meet their father at the Sacramento café he now owns, and he told her — not knowing that Jobs was his son — that he’d once owned a much more successful restaurant that all the big-wigs of the Valley used to come to. “Steve Jobs used to come in,” he told her, much to her shock, and he added that Jobs was a great tipper.

Neither the former Silicon Valley spot nor the Sacramento café are named, but it’s a fascinating story about a very private man, who chose not to introduce himself to his father in later years because he didn’t like what he’d heard about him. He sent Simpson on her own, and told her not to reveal his identity.

Hear the story yourself, starting around the seven-minute mark in the video below. It’s also noted elsewhere in the broadcast that Jobs had a mean streak, and he could often be nasty to waitresses.

60 Minutes, 10.23.11 [CBS]
Earlier: Steve Jobs Dines Waits for Table at Flour + Water