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Steve Jobs met his biological father by chance

Apple CEO Steve Jobs smiles after a product announcement in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008.

Paul Sakuma/Paul Sakuma/AP

What would you do if, by sheer coincidence, you came face to face with the parent you never knew?

Steve Jobs, who was adopted as an infant, met his biological father purely by chance. In audio recordings revealed by the late Apple CEO's biographer, Mr. Jobs describes having encountered his father at a Silicon Valley restaurant, without the two men ever realizing their connection.

Biographer Walter Isaacson, author of the new book "Steve Jobs," shared the recording, among several others, during an interview Sunday night with 60 Minutes, according to The New York Times.

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Although Mr. Jobs had reconnected with his biological mother and sister, he did not have any desire to find his biological father, Abdulfattah Jandali, who had abandoned the family, the Times says.

"I learned [a]little bit about him and I didn't like what I learned," Mr. Jobs said in the audio recording.

However, Mr. Jobs eventually discovered that the two had, indeed, met years earlier at a restaurant run by Mr. Jandali that was frequented by many high-profile people.

Mr. Jobs said he remembered meeting the restaurant's manager: "I shook his hand and he shook my hand and that's all."

The two never spoke again, The New York Times reports, although Mr. Jandali later recalled the Apple executive was a "great tipper." Mr. Jandali did not realize Mr. Jobs was, in fact, his son until 2006.

According to Time magazine's NewsFeed blog, Mr. Jandali, who is from Syria and now lives in Nevada, did not speak to his son, even when Mr. Jobs resigned as chief executive in August, as his health was deteriorating. The Wall Street Journal, however, has reported Mr. Jandali sent him e-mails periodically.

"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," Time quotes Mr. Jandali as saying. "Steve will have to do that, as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune."

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How would you react to finding out you had unknowingly met an estranged relative?

Editor's Note: The WSJ has reported that Mr. Jandali sent Mr. Jobs periodic emails. The updated version of this blog has been corrected to identify that.

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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