There’s an Interesting Story Behind This $11,000 Steve Jobs Autograph

Steve Jobs Signed Fortune Magazine Cover Credit: Nate D. Saunders Auctions
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Every so often we see various bits of Apple technology and other memorabilia hit the auction block, often commanding staggeringly high prices — we saw the original 1976 Apple Computer 1 fetch an estimated $1,000,000 a few years back, along with a sealed-box first-gen iPod hit eBay for a $200,000 asking price, while a limited-edition U2-themed iPod sold for nearly $90,000 on eBay.

However, these high selling prices aren’t just limited to vintage Apple products — memorabilia from the glory days of Apple often go for some pretty serious pennies as well, such as these $30,000 ultra-rare Apple Sneakers. However, nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to memorabilia that touched the hands of Apple’s legendary co-founded Steve Jobs.

For example, Jobs’ 2000 BMW Z8 fetched $400,000 at auction back in 2017, while three historic docs signed by Steve Jobs raked in $90,000, and a floppy disk signed by Jobs went for over $84,000, blowing past its original $7,500 reserve bid price.

Now there’s yet another piece of Steve Jobs memorabilia up for auction — a magazine signed by the late Apple CEO — and it will undoubtedly sell to an avid (and deep-pocketed) collector for tens of thousands of dollars — bidding will start at $11,000.

However, as 9to5Mac reports, this particular item also comes with an amusing story behind it, which also could push the bidding up even higher.

The Chauffeur’s Magazine

The item in question is a signed copy of Fortune magazine from October 9, 1989 — an era when Jobs’ was at the helm of his new startup, NeXT, back in the nineties. The magazine features a young Steve Jobs on the cover, highlighting the story about how he linked up with IBM and “outfoxed old pal Bill Gates.” Below the cover title is the simple inscription, “To Terry,” and it’s signed by Steve Jobs with his characteristic lower-case signature.

Well, it turns out that “Terry” in this case was one of Jobs’ chauffeurs for several years, although he worked for a private limousine company that Jobs regularly engaged the services of, as opposed to directly for Jobs himself.

Apparently, after Terry had driven Jobs several times, he worked up the courage to ask the Apple co-founded to autograph the magazine. Jobs obviously agreed to autograph the magazine for the driver, but clearly did so grudgingly as he also reportedly called the limousine company afterward to complain about the autograph request.

I was one of Jobs’ chauffeur drivers for several years before I asked Jobs to sign this magazine, although Jobs subsequently called my limousine company to complain about the autograph request.

Terry, former limousine driver for Steve Jobs

It’s unclear whether there were any actual consequences for Terry afterward; the limousine company clearly made him aware of the complaint, but he also obviously got to keep the autographed magazine. The auction actually includes Terry’s first year performance review from the limousine company as a bonus, (and likely to support the magazine’s authenticity), however the document is not shown in the online auction samples.

The magazine cover has been officially authenticated by James Spence Authentication, LLC, which confirms that the signature and the text “To Terry” was “penned in the hand of Steve Jobs” and is entirely genuine.

The full listing can be found at Nate D. Sanders Auctions, and bidding will begin this Thursday, July 30th. While the opening bid is $11,000, based on past auction for items signed by Steve Jobs, we wouldn’t be surprised if blows well past that to fetch considerably more.

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