So, in case you've been living under a rock, the FBI just published this file about Steven Paul Jobs. Yes, that Steve Jobs. When he was nominated for a government advisory position in 1991, the White House asked the FBI to do a thorough background check.
According to this 191-page document (which I read in its entirety, because that's how I procrastinate), Steven Paul Jobs wasn't racist, didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't use drugs (except back in college and in the very early days of Apple), lived within his means, associated with people of good repute, was never arrested, and wasn't a Communist. He had an apartment on Central Park West, in addition to his home in Northern California, which I find intriguing -- I'm pretty sure I've walked past his apartment building several times, totally unaware that a tech mogul was hanging out nearby.
For those of you who don't have the time or interest to read all the bits I liked, here's my summary:
- If you have a kid out of wedlock, don't ignore them. Especially if they could be kidnapped because of how ridiculously famous you are.
- When in doubt, delegate. Then delegate some more. (Except for parenting duties, of course.)
- It's great to be ambitious, persistent, and even show some tough love -- but if you lose your reputation for integrity, people will have no problem telling the FBI that you're a boogerbrain.
- Don't think that your wealth can bend reality.
- Everyone loves a visionary, even one who sucked at school and never got a degree in his chosen field.
- Having boundless energy is always an asset. Try cultivating it with exercise and a decent diet. Don't smoke or drink or take drugs, except for maybe a glass of wine once in a while.
- The more famous you are, the more prone you are to extravagant bomb threats. Make your life choices accordingly.
If you're still reading, here are all the bits of the report which jumped out at me -- and at every other reporter right now around the world.
My favorite 'Oh, snap!' moment:
"_____ [all names are redacted in this report] concluded the interview by stating that even though he does not consider Mr. Jobs to be a friend, he (Mr. Jobs) possesses the qualities to assume a high level political position. It was _____ opinion that honesty and integrity are not required for a position of trust and confidence with the Government."
Inspiring stuff I hadn't known before, since I never read any Jobs biographies:
"He stated the Appointee 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. He advised the Appointee lives within his means financially, however, based upon his newfound religious beliefs, the Appointee lives more of a spartanlike and at times even monastic existence. He added, however, the Appointee still associates with reputable people. He also advised that although the Appointee is not an engineer in the real sense, he understands . . . technology and technical jargon to the extent that he is an innovative force within the technical community, in terms of the contributions he has made."
"JOBS attended Homestead High School until June 15, 1972, at which time he graduated. He earned an overall grade point average of 2.65 on a 4.0 scale."
"The Appointee drinks occasionally, but only small amounts of wine. The Appointee was well off and had more money that he could spend in a lifetime and his chief concern was how that wealth would be used after he was gone. The Appointee liked brainstorming and was good at mediating. The Appointee understood the Japanese culture and had a great deal of contact in dealing with companies in the Orient."
". . . she verified that the Appointee was her next door neighbor. She described him as a quiet and unassuming individual who had never caused any problems as a neighbor and who visited her last week to ensure that some landscaping he was having done would not cause any problems with her and her husband."
"They had had the Appointee over for dinner and he didn't appear to drink or smoke. He was a vegetarian and did a great deal of jogging."
Creepy moments of already well-documented narcissism and lying bastardry:
"Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals."
"Mr. Jobs possesses integrity as long as he gets his way . . . ."
"She added that a 1983 Time Magazine article by a MICHAEL (Last Name Unknown) provided a rather accurate description of the Appointee, in terms of his being a visionary and charismatic individaul who was at the same time shallow and callous to people in his personal relationships. She described his personal life as being lacking due to his narcissism and shallowness. She added at the same time that he had far reaching vision and can vitalize plans and goals much the same as what he accomplishes at Apple Computers. She also stated that his success at Apple which provided an enormous amount of power for the Appointee also caused him at times to lose sight of honesty and integrity and even caused him to distort the truth at times to get his way.
"He described the Appointee as an individual who was not totally forthright and honest and has a tendency to distort reality in order to achieve his goals. . . . the Appointee will twist the truth in order to achieve whatever goal he has set for himself. He therefore considered the Appointee to be a deceptive person."
"He stated that Appointee had met _____ in High School and they were high school sweethearts. He added that she and the Appointee had a baby girl out of wedlock, whose name was _____. . . . He added that _____ has been mentioned in many books which have been written about the Appointee but has always used assumed names so as to protect her daughter from the possibility of being kidnapped for ransom. He stated she would be reluctant to speak to the FBI, based upon her negative experiences with the Appointee, in which the Appointee basically abandoned her and her daughter; however, lately the Appointee has been more supportive of both of them and has even purchased a home near where the Appointee resides, for them to be close to him.
Lessons in leadership:
"He characterized Mr. Jobs as an honest and trustworthy individual; however, his moral character is questionable. . . . he considered Mr. Jobs to be a successful individual because he can delegate tasks to individuals. However, Mr. Jobs alienated a lot of people at ACI as a result of his ambition."
"She concluded by stating that despite the Appointee's faults, she believes he is an extremely bright and competent individual who would serve well in a position of trust and confidence by his sense of vision as she previously related along with his indefatigable energy. She therefore recommended him for a position of trust and confidence with the Government."
"_____ described appointee as an extremely intelligent individual, a true leader, who has made a difference in the computer industry and given the opportunity will make a positive contribution on the National scene. _____ stated that appointee is not an individual who can be intimidated; however, fits in and can talk with anyone. _____ further described appointee as an extraordinary person, who is an excellent business negotiator and recruiter of talent. _____ added that appointee is a demanding individual, expecting a lot from himself and others."
"Appointee has the ability to listen to the suggestions and ideas of others and will adopt them; however, an individual dealing with appointee must know what he is talking about and present a strong case or appointee will disregard the discussion and sometimes the individual. _____ added that appointee is very truthful and straightforward with people and usually says exactly what he is thinking."
"He stated that the Appointee alienated a large number of people at Apple, as a result of his ambition. He added that the Appointee is technically oriented but is in the opinion of many, not an engineer, since he never actually got an engineering degreee from College and has been successful in business by delegating tasks to people."
And now for a Die Hard moment:
"DURING MORNING HOURS OF THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1985, AN UNIDENTIFIED MALE CALLER MADE A SERIES OF TELEPHONE CALLS TO _____, _____ OF APPLE COMPUTER, INC., 10201 NORTH DE ANZA BOULEVARD, CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA, AND ADVISED THAT 'DEVICES"' HAD BEEN PLACED IN HOMES OF CAPTIONED INDIVIDUALS, _____ _____ AND ONE MILLION DOLLARS MUST BE PAID. CALLER ALSO STATED THAT A FOURTH BOMB HAD BEEN PLACED, BUT REFUSED TO GIVE LOCATION AND STATED THIS ONE WOULD GO OFF IF AUTHORITIES NOTIFIED.
"DURING ONE CALL, UNSUB [unknown subject] FIRST STATED THAT _____ SHOULD TAKE A BART TRAIN, BUT _____ REFUSED BEFORE UNSUB COULD ELABORATE.
"DURING SUBSEQUENT CALL, UNSUB STATED THAT _____ SHOULD GO TO THE SAN FRANCISCO HILTON HOTEL WHERE A TABLE IS LOCATED NEXT TO A CANDY MACHINE, AND UNDER THIS TABLE THERE WOULD BE A NOTE WITH FURTHER INSTRUCTION.
"CALLER STATED THIS MUST BE DONE BY 2:30 P.M. ON FEBRUARY 7, 1985, OR BOMBS WOULD GO OFF.
"FIRST TWO CALLS MADE BY UNSUB FOR _____ WERE TAKEN BY STAFF PEOPLE.
"DURING FIRST CALL, NO THREATS MADE AND UNSUB IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS _____, AND STATED _____ SHOULD CALL HIM AT (415) 877-9566 BECAUSE THERE WAS A FAMILY EMERGENCY.
"_____, _____, SUBSEQUENTLY TELEPHONED THIS NUMBER AND CONVERSED WITH UNSUB, WHO IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS _____. UNSUB INFORMED THAT _____ IN MEETINGS ALL DAY AND UNAVAILABLE. UNSUB STATED THIS WAS PERSONAL FAMILY MATTER. _____ TOLD UNSUB SHE NEEDED SOME IDEA OF PROBLEM IN ORDER TO INFORM _____, AND UNSUB STATED TO TELL HIM THAT THERE ARE "DEVICES" THAT CAN GO OFF AND THAT HE WILL CALL _____ BACK IN FIFTEEN MINUTES.
"UNSUB SUBSEQUENTLY TALKED TO _____ ABOUT DEMANDS PREVIOUSLY SET OUT IN THIS COMMUNICATION.
"_____ REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH UNSUB'S DEMANDS AND INFORMED HIM THAT HE FELT THREAT NOT A REAL ONE. CONSEQUENTLY, NO ATTEMPT MADE BY _____ OR FBI TO FOLLOW INSTURCTIONS.
"TELEPHONE NUMBER (415) 877-9566 DETERMINED TO BELONG TO PUBLIC TELEPHONE BOOTH IN PARKING GARAGE AT SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
"IMMEDIATE COVERAGE AFFORDED SAN FRANCISCO HILTON AND TELEPHONE BOOTH WITH NEGATIVE RESULTS. NO NOTE LOCATED UNDER TABLE AS DESCRIBED BY UNSUB.
"TELEPHONE TRAP PLACE BY TELEPHONE COMPANY ON VICTIM'S OFFICE TELEPHONE IN THE EVENT FURTHER CALLS RECEIVED, HOWEVER, NO FURTHER CALLS MADE TO DATE BY UNSUB.
"SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA SHERIFF'S OFFICE CANINE UNIT MADE SWEEP OF VICTIM'S RESIDENCES AND AUTOS, AS WELL AS BUILDING HOUSING OFFICES OF _____ AND NO DEVICES LOCATED.
"_____ VOLUNTARILY FURNISHED INFORMATION TO LOCAL NEWSPAPER AFTER MEDIA INQUIRED OF UNUSUAL ACTIVITY.
"SAN FRANCISCO MAINTAINING CONTACT WITH APPLE COMPUTER IN EVENT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION DEVELOPS."