Steve Jobs called Mountain View home as a child


A childhood friend of Steve Jobs recalls that Silicon Valley's quintessential entrepreneur was partly a product of Mountain View, where he attended school and lived until his early teens.

On Friday, Mountain View resident Steve Hatt reminisced about a 1965 class photo of Jobs and himself at San Ramon School, a now-closed middle school on San Ramon Avenue, just east of Rengstorff Avenue.

Jobs was "motivated and not afraid to try something different," and was a little mischievous and awkward as well, Hatt recalled. He said he counted Jobs as one of a half-dozen close buddies in the Monta Loma neighborhood. Hatt remembers Jobs attending Monta Loma elementary school and according to county property records, the Jobs family owned a house at 286 Diablo Avenue from 1959 to 1967. Hatt said he would join Jobs every morning before school at a bus stop near the corner of Alvin and Victory streets.

The Monta Loma neighborhood was a vibrant young neighborhood in the early 1960s, popular with Stanford professors and early Silicon Valley engineers. Hatt said that "everything was engineering" for kids in the neighborhood who could often be found building electrical kits, like crystal set radios, from places like Radio Shack.

The adoptive parents who brought Jobs to Mountain View, Paul and Clara Jobs, were a machinist and an accountant, respectively. He called his adoptive father a "genius with his hands" and said he wanted "to try to be as good a father to them (his own children) as my father was to me."

Jobs was reportedly born in San Francisco to his biological mother Joanne Schieble. She gave up Jobs amid family pressure to not marry his biological father, Muslim Syrian Abdulfattah Jandali, who went on to become a political science professor. His biological parents eventually married and had Jobs' biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson, who he later met and considered "one of my best friends in the world."

After sixth grade, Hatt said Jobs moved away and attended Cupertino Middle School and Homestead High School. It wasn't long before Hatt saw Jobs on the cover of Newsweek magazine as the successful entrepreneur who co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak at age 21. Hatt said people in the neighborhood loved to talk about Jobs' success.

"Everyday it inspires me," Hatt said of having known Jobs.

Perhaps Jobs was thinking of his hometown when he recently told the Cupertino City Council that if Apple could not build its new headquarters in Cupertino, "We have to go somewhere like Mountain View."

His local connection may have also been why Monta Loma elementary school was one of the first to receive free Apple computers. Hatt said he remembers that his kids, who were attending Landels at the time, did not receive them until later.

Hatt said it astonished him that news reports have made no mention of Jobs' connection to Mountain View. He hopes local kids are inspired by Jobs "to learn something new and do something great."

Mountain View Whisman School District officials said most of their records from the early 1960s were destroyed. They could confirm only that Jobs attended Crittenden Middle School and Monta Loma elementary school.

He apparently did not enjoy Crittenden according to a Los Angeles Times report: "Jobs' willfulness and chutzpah were evident early on. At 11, he decided he didn't like his rowdy and chaotic middle school in Mountain View, Calif., and refused to go back. His family moved to a nearby town so he could attend another school."

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


4 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 8, 2011 at 7:54 am

Funny how the author only points out the ethnicity of Jobs' biological father but no one else mentioned in the article. There is obviously an agenda at work when equal reporting is denied.

It's alo ironic when the school that educated Jobs was closed down. You'd think they must have been doing something right.

3 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

typo alert: "Mona Simpson" not "Sampson"

3 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 10, 2011 at 5:22 am

Observer, the point of identifying the ethnicity of Jobs' biological father is that it was the reason his biological mother's family rejected him.

I'm not seeing an agenda here, beyond explaining why Jobs was placed for adoption, which is entirely relevant in an article about his early years.

3 people like this
Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Now I understand why Jobs was given up for adoption. I did not know of the nationality of his biological father. So the biological moms' family had issues with the biological father as he was a Syrian Muslim. I can only assume the mom did not realize there were going to be issues from her family when she bedded with Mr. Jandali. But it is great to know his parentage and to know that he attended Crittenden about one or two years after I graduated there in June of 1969.

It is interesting to note that Jobs biological parents married anyway sometime later. Strange how life works out.

3 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

I wonder if Steve Jobs still would have been the creative genius everyone points out he is if, when a child, he was too busy surfing the internet, engaged in social media or viewing unrestricted pornography? The ultimate irony is that Steve Jobs didn't have an iPod or iPhone or iMac or iBook or iPad or the internet growing up to distract him on his path to genius. He certainly wasn't impressed with Mountain View Schools back then either, as is the case of the editors here, given the gratuitous and unwarranted slur against one of the city's public schools as quoted in the LA Times. What value does it add to the article here?

3 people like this
Posted by dominick
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm

The reason Steve's adoptive father moved from Mountain View was because the school Steve was going to was so bad he wanted to move where Steve could attend a better school.Maybe that's why Mountain View is reluctant to mention that Jobs lived there at one time.

3 people like this
Posted by Jeff B.
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I don't blame Steve for wanting to leave Crittenden. I was there close to the same time and it was a rather scary place back then. There were fights every day and M80's going of all the time in and out of the classroom. I'm sure things have changed but it was the wildest school I ever attended. It could be fun at time but very difficult to be a serious student in that environment.

3 people like this
Posted by Kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Ten years ago we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Now we have no jobs, no hope and no cash.

3 people like this
Posted by anne
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2011 at 7:11 am

I've read a Steve Jobs' interview where he says he skipped the 5th grade, and apparently he went straight to Crittenden. But the picture shows Steve in 6th grade in San Remo. So how long has Steve studies in San Remo?

3 people like this
Posted by Charlene
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2011 at 9:47 am

I work at Crittenden as a Yard Duty, so take this as you will: I don't know how Crittenden was back then; but I believe its very good. My daughter is in 7th grade there, and loves it! The teachers she has are awesome and she's doing well. The principal, vice principal and intervention officer are great to work with. They don't put up with attitude and deal with issues as they come up. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, I suppose, but I for one, love this community!! If I didn't think it was a good environment for my daughter, we wouldn't have her there as a student. I would have to find an alternative that didn't cost much as we don't have a lot of money to spare. I just wantd to put in my two cents worth-thanks!

3 people like this
Posted by mv mom
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with Charlene. Karen Robinson is the best!

3 people like this
Posted by Sharon
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm

My Daughters went to Crittenden in the 80's. They had Karen Robinson as a teacher for 5th grade and she was wonderful.

3 people like this
Posted by Suzanne
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I don't think San Ramon was a middle school. I was in Kindergarten there in 1965. It was a normal elementary school, I believe.

3 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I'm a little older than Steve Jobs so I never knew him then but I grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same schools as him. San Ramon was an elementary school like Monta Loma but smaller, only 7 classrooms I think in a then somewhat rural area of Mtn.View (no sidewalks). Puzzling why Steve, who lived behind Monta Loma, went to San Ramon which was much further away, across Rengstorff. Crittenden was no big deal, like any other middle school I suppose. Kids could be rowdy there but for that age group, that's not unusual. Steve Jobs looked like any of the other kids back then. Just goes to show you never know.

3 people like this
Posted by Debby F.
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I grew up in the Monta Loma neighborhood and attended Monta Loma from kindergarten through 5th grade. In the fall of 1965 all Monta Loma 6th graders were transferred to San Ramon due to classroom overcrowding....I'm not sure if they continued this practice after the 65/66 school year because I moved on to Crittenden for 7th & 8th grade. San Ramon was a small rural type school at that time....I was both at San Ramon and in Crittenden at the same time as Steve Jobs (afer he apparently skipped 5th grade and went directly to 6th). I don't remember him and I sure don't remember Crittenden being the type of school he described. Junior High was difficult anywhere you went....Crittenden, certainly no worse.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Why is it becoming increasingly impossible to open a restaurant on the Peninsula?
By Elena Kadvany | 27 comments | 4,955 views

Electric Buses: A case study
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 2,124 views

Helping Partners Become Couples (vs. Helping Couples Become Partners)
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 308 views



On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Register now