The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has released, after a request under the Freedom of Information Act, a 191-page file on the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, that is partly unflattering in its portrait of the man.
The report, according to AFP, was compiled during a 1991 FBI background check of Jobs after President George H.W. Bush recommended his appointment to the President's Export Council. According to Bloomberg, Bush appointed Jobs to the President's Export Council on May 24, 1990, and he served until the end of Bush's term in January 1993.
The Washington Post reports that the FBI amassed a lengthy and often unflattering file on Apple’s co-founder, with more than 30 interviews of friends, neighbors, family, former business associates. The file was heavily redacted with the names of the persons interviewed removed, though their places of employment were often mentioned.
The report revealed Job's early drug use and allegation that he was neglecting his daughter born out of wedlock with his high school girlfriend Chrisann Brennan. According to Bloomberg, Jobs was alleged to have first denied being the father of Lisa Brennan-Jobs, though he later reconciled with his daughter. The report said: "In the past, Mr. Jobs was not supportive of the mother of his child born out of wedlock and their daughter; however, recently has become more supportive."
The Washington Post reports FBI officials complained that Jobs' secretary made them wait three weeks before they could interview him. AFP says that when he finally granted them an interview he said he could only spare an hour. The interview was conducted after Jobs had left Apple and was head of NeXT Computer. He left Apple after a leadership dispute with then Chief Executive Officer Johh Sculley.
Jobs told the FBI that he had not used illegal drugs in five years. He admitted, however, that he had used marijuana, hashish and LSD between 1970 and 1974 while he was a high school and college student.
The report noted he had been involved in a number of lawsuits as chief executive of Apple but that he was never arrested. The report also mentioned he was not member of the communist party.
Some of those the FBI interviewed described Jobs as, "strong-willed, stubborn, hardworking and driven." Some even described him as a genius. Some of those interviewed said, "...Mr. Jobs possesses integrity as long as he gets his way." Others raised questions about his honesty, saying Jobs was willing to "twist truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals." The report seems conflicting when it says, at the same time, that the "Appointee is very truthful and straightforward with people and usually says exactly what he is thinking."
A woman said Jobs' personal life suffered because of "his narcissism and shallowness," but according to the woman, he had "far reaching vision." The woman said Jobs' success at Apple led him at times away from honesty and integrity and even made him distort the truth to get his way.
Yet another person, according to the report, said: "Jobs had undergone a change in philosophy by participating in eastern and/or Indian mysticism and religion. This change apparently influenced the Appointee's personal life for the better. The Appointee lives more of a spartanlike and at times even monastic existence."
In spite of the fact that some of them did not seem to like Jobs, they were willing to recommend him for a position "of trust and confidence with the U.S. government." One of them actually described Jobs as "deceptive" but expressed the opinion "that honesty and integrity are not required qualities to hold such a position.”
The FBI also released report of its investigation of a February 1985 bomb threat against Apple in which an anonymous caller demanded $1 million. The man called from a public telephone, saying explosives had been placed at the homes of Jobs and other Apple executives. The caller demanded $1 million. The FBI searched homes and offices where the caller said he placed the bombs but found nothing. According to the FBI report, the caller instructed that they should go to San Francisco Hilton hotel to pick up a note under a table close to a candy machine. The number left by the caller was traced to a public telephone in a parking garage at San Francisco International Airport.
The FBI closed the case when they could not find any evidence of a genuine threat.
Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011, of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.