FBI File on Steve Jobs Probed Apple Founder’s Drug Use, Character

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The FBI’s 191-page file on the late Steve Jobs — released Thursday — reveals that the feds were keenly interested in the Apple founder’s character, as well as his past drug use and criminal history. The FBI opened an investigation of Jobs in 1991, because he was under consideration for a presidential appointment to the President’s Export Council under George H. W. Bush.

At the time Jobs was running NeXT Computing, the software company he founded after being pushed out of Apple in a boardroom power struggle. The file was released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Several people interviewed by the FBI said they were aware of his past experimentation with drugs, as well as his reputation as a hard-driving, ambitious visionary. At least one acquaintance said Jobs would “twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.”

But all the people the FBI interviewed endorsed Jobs for the position, including one person who characterized Jobs as a “deceptive individual” but nevertheless supported his appointment to the high-profile political position, asserting that “honesty and integrity are not required qualities to hold such a position.”

(More: Steve Jobs, 1955–2011: Mourning Technology’s Great Reinventor)

Throughout the report, in which over 29 people were interviewed, the FBI repeatedly asks whether Jobs had anything in his past that could be used to blackmail him.

The FBI’s background check also discloses Jobs’ GPA from Homestead High School in Cupertino, California: 2.65. And it discusses a bomb threat made against Jobs in 1985 by someone demanding $1 million in cash, who threatened to blow up Jobs’ home. No money was delivered and no explosives were found.

Below are some highlights from the report, which is available here:

Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals. They also commented that, in the past, Mr. Jobs was not supportive of [redacted] (the mother of his child born out of wedlock) and their daughter; however, recently has become supportive.

Based on the background information furnished by Mr. Jobs, he has no close relatives residing in Communist-controlled countries.

[Redacted] at ACI stated that during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mr. Jobs may have experimented with illegal drugs, having come from that generation…However, [redacted] is unaware of any current drug use by Mr. Jobs. He also offered favorable comments concerning Mr. Jobs’ character, reputation, loyalty and associates. [Redacted] has never observed Mr. Jobs express any bias or prejudice and he recommended Mr. Jobs for a position of trust and confidence.

[Redacted], California advised that he has been acquainted with Mr. Jobs since [redacted]. He characterized Mr. Jobs as a deceptive individual, who is not completely forthright and honest. He stated that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.

[Redacted] also advised that he was aware that Mr. Jobs used illegal drugs, including marijuana and LSD, while they were attending college. [Redacted] was aware of Mr. Jobs’ use of illegal drugs from reports of mutual friends and an admission of same by Mr. Jobs. [Redacted] commented that he has never personally seen Mr. Jobs use drugs or alcohol.

[Redacted] further stated that, approximately, [redacted] years ago, Mr. Jobs and his girlfriend, [redacted], had a daughter born out of wedlock…[Redacted] related that Mr. Jobs mistreated them by not supporting them, however, recently Mr. Jobs has been more supportive….

[Redacted] concluded the interview by stating that even though he does not consider Mr. Jobs to be a friend, he (Mr. Jobs) posseses the qualities to assume a high-level political position. It was [redacted] opinion that honesty and integrity are not required qualities to hold such a position…