Steve Jobs' Widow to Use Fame and Fortune for Goodwill

Laurene Powell Jobs, the wife of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, is making a name for herself when it comes to philanthropy.

Jobs lost her husband in 2011. The Apple innovator was behind game-changing devices such as the iPad, iPod, and iPhone.

Among the many legacies Jobs left behind, the innovator also left behind a vast fortune. His wife's net worth is $11.5 billion, making her the ninth wealthiest woman in the world, according to Forbes.

In recent weeks, the normally shy widow has recently stepped into public view with her agenda in education, global conservatism, nutrition and immigration, according to The New York Times.

"She's been mourning for a year and was grieving for five years before that," said Larry Brilliant, an old friend of Steve Jobs' and the president of the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

"Her life was about family and Steve, but she is now emerging as a potent force on the world stage, and this is only the beginning," he avowed, according to The Times.

Additionally, a friend of Jobs' revealed that the widow's philanthropic involvement began a long time ago, but that the she has remained under the radar.

"It's not about getting any public recognition for her giving, it's to help touch and transform individual lives," explained philanthropist and lecturer on philanthropy at Stanford, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen.

In a past and rare interview, Jobs noted her decision to break from operating behind-the-scenes on issues.

"I didn't know if being public would be effective," she said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In the past, Jobs has stepped in on various causes such as creating a scholarship fund for undocumented students.

For instance, Jobs has fought got the Dream Act, which would grant citizenship to young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally.

However, today, the 49-year-old has plans to take her influence further by publicly backing some of the most contentious causes in the U.S.

Jobs grew up in New Jersey and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she met her husband. Laurene married Steve in 1991, and the couple went on to have three children together.

Jobs died on Oct. 5, 2011 at the age of 56 after a years-long and highly public battle with cancer and other health issues.

The visionary guided Apple from a company in serious financial trouble to becoming the richest company in the world.