Steve Wozniak's Biography

The names

In the birth certificate, he is recorded as Stefan Gary Wozniak, but his mother said that she was going to call him Stephen (English Stephen), he himself used the name Steve.

Wozniak is often referred to under the pseudonym Woz (Woz or The Woz). WoZ (short for Wheels of Zeus) is also the name of the company that Stephen founded in 2002. In the early 1970s, Wozniak was known under the pseudonym Berkeley Blue in the community of freekers.

Early years

Born in San Jose, California, in the family of engineer Jacob Francis “Jerry” Wozniak 1925-1994, originally from Los Angeles, a graduate of the California Institute of Technology. Parents of the father grew up in Bukovina. Mother - Margaret Elaine Kern - was of Swiss-German descent and was born in 1923 in Washington.

My father worked as an engineer at Lockheed, developing missile guidance systems. It was father who instilled in young Steve a love of electronics. Being in the 4th grade, Wozniak received a radio amateur license, and in the eighth he put together a sophisticated calculator that won first prize in a city contest held by the BBC. While still at school, Wozniak independently learned Fortran and began working at Sylvania. After school, Steve entered the University of Colorado in Boulder, but due to lack of money from his parents, he studied for only a year and began to study at the College de Anse in Cupertino, where he also soon left.

In 1971, Bill Fernandez introduced Wozniak, then a student at College de Anse, to Steve Jobs, a student at Homestead High school in Cupertino. In the fall of that year, Wozniak read an article on telephone phreakers in Esquire magazine. He shared the idea with Jobs. Wozniak created a digital blue box device for hacking telephone networks, including international calls. Jobs organized the handicraft production of these devices for sale.

In 1973, by agreement with Jobs, Wozniak for four days created a prototype circuit board for the classic arcade game Breakout for Atari in Los Gatos, while reducing the number of TTL chips. The remuneration was planned to be divided equally. The prototype was unsuitable for use, but under a contract with Atari, Jobs received $ 5,000 as a bonus for reducing the number of circuits on the board. Of this amount, he gave Wozniak only $ 350.

Apple II

For several years, Apple II remained the main source of revenue for Apple and provided the company with vitality when its management took on much less profitable projects, such as the ill-fated Apple III and the small-lived Apple Lisa computer. Thanks to reliable income from Apple II, the company was able to develop a Macintosh, bring it to the market and make it its core technology.

In February 1981, Steve Wozniak crashed on his Beechcraft Bonanza plane while taking off from an aircraft fleet in Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County. As a result, he received retrograde amnesia and temporary anterograde amnesia. He did not remember this incident and did not know that he was in a plane crash. He also did not remember his hospital stay or the things he did after he was discharged. He was engaged in ordinary affairs, but did not remember them. Woz began collecting pieces of information from different people. He asked his girlfriend, Candy Clark, if he was in any kind of disaster. When she told him about the incident, his short-term memory returned. In fact, Woz and Candy were engaged, they ordered wedding rings in San Diego and flew there after them. Also, Wozniak thanks his computer games on Apple II in his release from amnesia.

Stephen did not return to Apple after the crash. Instead, he married Candy Clark and returned to the University of California at Berkeley under the name Rocky Clark. There he received his degree in 1986. In 1983, he decided to return to the Apple development team, and he needed the position of engineer and incentive for the company.

In 1982 and 1983, Wozniak sponsored two national rock festivals, The US Festival, which were dedicated to developing technologies and the collaboration of music, computers, television and people. They were a combination of a technology exhibition and a rock festival. Rock festivals such as Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Van Halen, U2 and others took part in the festivals.

Wozniak and Candy divorced in 1987. At that time, they had three children, two boys and a girl. Later, during an alumni meeting, he renewed his relationship with Suzanne Mulkern, a former cheerleader leader (support group). They married in 1990 and divorced in 2000.

Career outside of Apple and Family

12 years after the foundation of the company, on February 6, 1987 Wozniak again leaves Apple. Despite this, he is still listed there as an employee and even receives a salary, and a block of shares remained with him. Wozniak then founded the new CL9 enterprise, which developed remote controls. It launched the first universal remote controls on the market. Out of anger, Jobs threatened his suppliers to stop business with Wozniak, otherwise they would lose business with Apple.

He found other suppliers, in return for those with whom he worked for four years and was very disappointed in his closest friend.

Wozniak went to teaching, he taught fifth-grade students and charitable activities in the field of education. After being fired from Apple, Wozniak transferred all of his money to the technology program for the Los Gatos school district in which Steve lives and where his children attend school.

In 1985, Ronald Reagan presented Wozniak with a national technology medal.

In 1997, he was appointed a member of the Museum of Computer History in San Khose. Wozniak was the main sponsor and patron of the Children's Museum of Discovery.

In September 2000, Wozniak entered the National Hall of Fame of the inventors.

In 2001, he founded ‘Wheels of Zeus’ to create wireless GPS technology that was designed to “help ordinary people find ordinary things.” In 2002, he joined the board of directors of Ripcord Networks Inc., which included all Apple graduates. Later that year, Wozniak became a member of the board of directors at Danger Inc., the creator of Hip Top’s (aka SideKick from T-Mobile). In May 2004, Wozniak received an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina for his contribution to personal computers.

In 2006, ‘Wheels of Zeus’ closed, after which Wozniak founded the Acquicor Technology holding company, which specialized in the acquisition and development of technology companies.

From 2009 to 2014, he was the chief scientist in the manufacturer of hardware and software computer systems Fusion-io.

In 2014, he became a principal scientist at Primary Data, a company founded by former Fusion-io executives.

In 2018, Wozniak became interested in blockchain technology and began work on the Equi blockchain investment platform ․

Honorary degrees

For his contribution to technology, Wozniak was awarded a number of honorary degrees of Doctor of Technical Sciences:

1989 University of Colorado at Boulder

2004 North Carolina State University

2005 Kettering University of Flint

2005 New Southeastern University at Fort Lauderdale

2008 High Polytechnic School of Litoral in Guayaquil, Ecuador

2011 Michigan State University

2011 Concordia University of Montreal Canada

2012 University of Santa Clara

2013 Camilo Jose Sela University in Villanueva de la Canada, Spain

2013 National Engineering University of Lima, Peru

Ethnic background

Information about the Ukrainian ethnic origin of Steve Wozniak appeared in the Ukrainian media after the publication of the 2007 encyclopedic guide “Galaxy Ukraine. The Ukrainian Diaspora: outstanding personalities” by journalist Vitaliy Ablitsov . It states that Steve's parents come from Bukovina.

Contrary to this, the American commercial project, which does not guarantee reliable information, citing American censuses, claims that Steve’s father Jerry Wozniak was born in 1925 in California, USA, and Steve’s first paternal ancestor, who emigrated to the USA, was his great-grandfather Yuri (George) Wozniak. The project website provides information that George Wozniak and his wife were born in Poland and arrived in the United States in 1870. It should be noted that in 1795 the Habsburg Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Russian Empire divided among themselves all the lands of the Commonwealth, among which were significant Ukrainian ethnic territories.

Social work

In 1980, Wozniak was consecrated to the Masonic Order in California.

In 1982, he initiated and sponsored the first teleconference between the USSR and the USA. After 35 years, the famous TV bridge host Vladimir Pozner interviewed Steve Wozniak in his program.

In 1982 and 1983, the Unuson (Unite Us in Song) organization created by Wozniak ensured the organization of two American rock festivals.

In 1990, Wozniak helped establish the Electronic Frontiers Fund by participating in the initial financing of the organization and working on the founding board of the fund. After leaving Apple, Wozniak continued to provide funding and technical support for technical curricula in his local school district in Los Gatos.

After the death of a friend and associate for Apple, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak completely went into public activity.

In November 2011, he visited Armenia, where he was awarded the “Global authority in the field of information technologies” prize, visited the State Engineering University of Armenia, as well as Synopsys Armenia, one of the largest electronics designers and software developers in Armenia. In October 2013 he visited in Moscow a private museum of Apple technology.

In 2010, Steve Wozniak played a cameo in the second episode of the fourth season of the television series "The Big Bang Theory."

In September 2017, he visited Kiev and performed at the Sports Palace, and in October he visited Moscow and performed at Moscow State University. April 4, 2018 Wozniak again visited Moscow and performed at the Olympic.


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