How Steve Jobs Accidentally Met His Biological Dad

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Steve Jobs

Marco Grob for TIME

The late Apple CEO, who was adopted at an early age, once met his biological dad at a California restaurant—by sheer chance.

Last night on 60 Minutes, Steve Jobs’s biographer, Walter Isaacson (a former managing editor of TIME),  revealed that the tech titan met his biological dad, Abdulfattah Jandali, at a restaurant in Sacramento. At the time, however, neither knew they were related.

“I was in [the] restaurant once or twice and I remember meeting the owner who was from Syria. And it was most certainly [my father]. And I shook his hand and he shook my hand. And that’s all,” said Jobs to Isaacson. Only later, when he met his biological sister, Mona Simpson, did he learn that the man from the restaurant was his biological father.

(PHOTOS: The Long, Extraordinary Career of Steve Jobs)

Jobs told Isaacson that he decided not to pursue a relationship with Jandali. “I learned a little bit about him and I didn’t like what I learned,” he said.

It was only in 2006 that Jandali, who now resides in Nevada, learned that Jobs was his son. Following Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO in late August, Jandali spoke to several media outlets about his son’s health. But he did not speak to Jobs. “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,” Jandali told the media. “Steve will have to do that, as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune.”

Watch Isaacson tell the incredible story, starting at 5:10.

MORE: Steve Jobs, 1955–2011: Mourning Technology’s Great Reinventor

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Read more about the life and legacy of Steve Jobs in the tribute book from TIME: Steve Jobs: The Genius Who Changed Our World.

Erica Ho is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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