FBI releases background check on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs

10 Feb 2012

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs

The FBI has released documents based on a background investigation of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, which includes interviews with co-workers and people who knew him.

The FBI documents consist of interviews carried out in 1991 as part of a background check for Jobs’ appointment to the US President’s Export Council under the administration of George H W Bush.

The documents give numerous insights into Jobs, who died in October. Many left favourable comments to his “character, reputation, associates and loyalty” and recommended him for the position. The Associated Press reports that Jobs did serve on the council after the investigation.

The documents also give an account of some individuals who claimed Jobs would “twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.” Another claimed he was “a deceptive individual who is not completely forthright and honest.”

However, many of those who had fallen out with Jobs recommended him for the role. One person said that while he “did not consider Mr Jobs to be a friend” he believed Jobs “possessed the qualities to assume a high-level political position” as he believed “honesty and integrity are not prerequisites to assume such a position.”

There were also numerous references to Jobs’ previous drug use, including LSD and marijuana. One account said this happened in the late 1960s and early 1970s, “having come from that generation.”

One part of the documents detailed how a special agent from the FBI tried to arrange an interview with Jobs, who was the president of NeXT at that stage. However, Jobs’ secretary told him he was not available to speak for even an hour for three weeks.

Jobs was eventually interviewed, saying he had experimented with LSD and marijuana between 1970 and 1974. He also confirmed “he was not a member of the Communist party and did not belong to any organisations that espoused the overthrow of the government.”