- (Photo: The Christian Post via Apple.com)
When news of Steve Jobs' death hit the world on Wednesday, one man realized a hope he held for years would never come to pass: to meet his biological son.
Jobs' biological father is Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian-born immigrant who, at 80 years old, is still working as vice president of a casino in Reno, Nev. Jandali did not know he had fathered the world's most famous technology innovator until just a few years ago.
Although he had tried to contact Jobs by email, he was always too afraid to call.
"This might sound strange, though, but I am not prepared, even if either of us was on our deathbeds, to pick up the phone to call him," Jandali told the New York Post in August.
"Steve will have to do that, as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune," he said.
"Now I just live in hope that, before it is too late, he will reach out to me, because even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man."
Jobs never made the call. And Jandali never met his biological son.
When the Reno-Gazette Journal contacted him on Wednesday, Jandali declined to comment.
"I really don't have anything to say," he said. "I know the news."
Joanne Carole Schieble became pregnant with Jobs in 1954 while she was a graduate studying political science at the University of Wisconsin. Upon hearing the news, Jandali told the NY Post that he wanted to marry Schieble and keep the baby, but family pressures prevented that from happening.
"I was very much in love with Joanne," he said. "But sadly, her father was a tyrant, and forbade her to marry me, as I was from Syria. And so she told me she wanted to give the baby up for adoption."
The pair were living in Wisconsin back then, he said.
"Without telling me, Joanne upped and left to move to San Francisco to have the baby without anyone knowing, including me," he said. "She did not want to bring shame onto the family and thought this was the best for everyone."
A few months after Jobs was given up for adoption, Schieble's father died and she agreed to marry Jandali. They had another baby: Mona, Jobs' sister whom he eventually met when he was 31.
"If we had just held off for a few months, then we would have been able to raise Steve as our own, but sadly, that was not the case," Jandali said. "We often spoke of our son and how we both wished he was with us, especially when Joanne gave birth to Steve's sister, Mona Simpson. But nothing to do with Joanne and I was ever meant to be."
Jobs remained close with Mona, who is a novelist and professor of English at UCLA.
''We're family,” Jobs said in a 1997 New York Times article. "She's one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days."
Jandali, however, never got to be a part of Jobs' family. The reasons why they never met are unclear as Jobs kept his personal life private. What is clear, however, is Jandali's regrets over being an absentee father.
"I'd be lying if I said it doesn't sadden me to have not been part of my son's incredible journey," he told the NY Post. "What father wouldn't think that? And I would think that even if he was not the head of a hugely successful company."