The 80-year old Syrian immigrant Abdulfattah John Jandali revealed in an interview with the New York Post, following Jobsâ resignation as CEO of Apple, that he regrets having given his son up for adoption 56 years ago.
Jandali, who was in a relationship with Joanne Simpson at the time, said he wanted to marry Jobsâ biological mother but that her father opposed the marriage on account of his Syrian descent. Simpson had the baby in San Francisco, âwithout anyone knowing,â Jandali recollected. "She did not want to bring shame onto the family and thought [the adoption route] was the best for everyone."
Looking back on that decision, Jandali wonders whether Jobs âis aware of the fact that had it been my choice, I would have loved to have kept him,â and admitted that his girlfriend also had second doubts about the adoption, especially in the first few months after she granted custody to Mr and Mrs Jobs.
Simpsonâs father then passed away almost immediately following Jobsâs adoption, which freed her to marry Jandali. They did, and went on to have a daughter, Mona, which was Jandaliâs only other child.
"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. But nothing to do with Joanne and I was ever meant to be."
Jandali says he only discovered in recent years that his son, whom he never met before, turned out to become Apple's iconic leader. Despite sending Jobs emails on his birthday on several occasions, to this day the two have never spoken. And while Jandali wants to finally meet Jobs, he is waiting for the latter to make the first contact.
Steve Jobs (right) and biological father Abdulfattah John Jandali (left) have never met.
"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," he said. "Steve will have to do that, as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune."
"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," Jandali added.
As the Post points out, there's a striking resemblance between the two men: âboth wear rimless glasses, both have grey hair receding in exactly the same place, and both have the same handsome swarthy features.â But unlike Jobs, who has for the past few years battled health issues believed to have stemmed from his bout with cancer, âhis octogenarian father is a picture of health.â
Like Jobs, Jandali is also a successful executive. Despite turning 80, he still occupies a vice president position in a Reno casino and leads a very active life. He reportedly rises at 5 AM each day, goes to the gym and drives in his Jeep to the Boomtown Casino and hotel where he works six days a week.
In an attempt to support his son in some capacity, Jandali, who describes himself as a âcomputer dunce,â says he's purchased a Mac computer, iPhone and iPad.