Steve Jobs Told His Daughter Apple’s Lisa Computer Wasn’t Named after Her—But It Was
Steve Jobs‘s relationship with his daughter was complex, her recent memoirs reveal.
In an adapted excerpt in Vanity Fair taken from her forthcoming memoirs, the late business tycoon’s daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs speaks about her challenging relationship with her father, exemplified by his refusal to admit to her face that he named the 1983 Lisa computer after her.
The memoirs are to be published as a book, Small Fry, in September.
In anticipation of the release, an emotional extract was published in the magazine’s September issue. It relays how as a teenager Brennan-Jobs nonchalantly, yet hopefully, asked her father if the computer—the precursor to the Macintosh, and a commercial flop—was named after her.
Steve Jobs—who had a long and fraught relationship with Chrisann Brennan, Lisa’s mother—replied “no” to his daughter, she writes. However, when faced with the same question years later from U2’s Bono inside the singer’s exuberant villa on the Côte d’Azur (which Bono showed to the father-daughter duo “as if he couldn’t quite believe it was his”) Jobs coughed up the truth: yes, it was.
The author says that the “lie” today seems “preposterous” to her. However she “felt a new power that pulled [her] chest up.” At the time, she thanked Bono for extracting the truth from her father and in a dry conclusion to this section of her book she writes: “As if famous people needed other famous people around to release their secrets.”
Jobs denied that he was Brennan-Jobs’ father until a DNA test carried out when she was two years old proved otherwise. Jobs had a hand in naming the child Lisa when she was born, another fact that Brennan-Jobs recounts she struggled to understand.