Steve Jobs’ Daughter Reveals Details About Their Difficult Relationship in New Memoir

Small Fry Lisa Brennan Jobs Credit: Lisa Brennan Jobs
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Lisa Brennan-Jobs — the eldest daughter of late Apple co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs — is less than a month away from releasing her anticipated memoir.

Titled ‘Small Fry’, the tell-all takes a in-depth look into what it was like growing up the daughter of an icon, and shares stories of his life, achievements, death, and their oftentimes rocky relationship.

Ahead of the book’s early-September debut, Vanity Fair was able to get their hands on a pre-release copy, from which they’ve shared excerpts where Lisa-Brennan Jobs describes in no uncertain terms her troubled relationship with Steve, his last days on Earth, and her early life being denied and, ultimately, accepted by him. 

A Troubled Youth

Born May 17, 1978 in Oregon, Lisa is the daughter of Steve Jobs and his college sweetheart, Chrisann Brennan. And while her birth was certainly expected, it’s a lesser-known fact that for the first few years of her life, Jobs not only denied that he was Lisa’s paternal father, but the tech luminary supposedly wanted “nothing to do with her” until she reached age two. 

It’s then, Brennan-Jobs writes, when Steve was forced to take a paternity test, provide child support for her, and she finally met him — for the very first time — in Menlo Park, California.

“You know who I am?” he asked, flipping his hair out of his eyes. 

I was three years old; I didn’t. 

“I’m your father,” Jobs told her (“Like he was Darth Vader,” my mother said later, when she told me the story.) 

After their initial meeting, Brennan-Jobs writes that Steve visited her more often, offering to take her on outings like a ride in his Porsche, on rollerskating trips, out to dinner, and even hot tub excursions, but their relationship still had its fissures. Brennan-Jobs wrote of one instance, in particular, when she asked her father for his Porsche after overhearing rumors that he replaces the sports car with a new model when it gets so much as a scratch on it — though she didn’t quite get the reply she was hoping for:

“You’re not getting anything,” Jobs replied. “You understand? Nothing. You’re getting nothing.” 

Did he mean about the car, something else, bigger? I didn’t know. His voice hurt–sharp, in my chest, Brennan-Jobs recounts.

From Lisa to LISA

Another topic Brennan-Jobs writes about in a later section of the book is of her personal experience being under the impression that her dad named Apple’s early 1980s LISA computer after her, saying how it made her “feel closer to Jobs.” At one point, however, Lisa asked her father whether his LISA computer was in fact named after her, to which the iPhone-inventor retorted “Nope.” 

She goes on to write of a later experience, however, when Jobs allegedly changed his mind about whether she inspired LISA, a shocking admission which came during a lunch when U2 lead singer Bono asked Steve to clarify once and for all.

Then Bono asked, “So, was the Lisa computer named after her?”

There was a pause. I braced myself—prepared for his answer.

My father hesitated, looked down at his plate for a long moment, and then back at Bono. “Yeah, it was,” he said.

I sat up in my chair.

“I thought so,” Bono said.

“Yup,” my father said.

I studied my father’s face. What had changed? Why had he admitted it now, after all these years? Of course it was named after me, I thought then. His lie seemed preposterous now. I felt a new power that pulled my chest up.

‘Small Fry’ is available to pre-order on Amazon now in a variety of formats, ranging in price from $14.30 for a Kindle eBook to $26.00 for hardcover. More from the memoir, which also includes stories pertinent to Jobs’ final months of life before passing away in October 2011, can be read over on Vanity Fair.

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