Biography of Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak: Co-Founder of Apple Computers

Steve Wozniak. Getty Images

Steve Wozniak is the co-founder of Apple Computers. Wozniak has always been credited with being the main designer of the first Apples.

Wozniak is also a noted philanthropist who founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Influence on the History of Computers

Wozniak was the main designer on the Apple I and Apple II computers together with Steve Jobs (business brains) and others. The Apple II is noted as the first commercially successful line of personal computers, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics and a floppy disk drive. In 1984, Wozniak greatly influenced the design of the Apple Macintosh computer, the first successful home computer with a mouse-driven graphical user.


Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators. In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for “single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers."

Wozniak Quotes

At our computer club, we talked about it being a revolution. Computers were going to belong to everyone, and give us power, and free us from the people who owned computers and all that stuff.

I thought Microsoft did a lot of things that were good and right building parts of the browser into the operating system. Then I thought it out and came up with reasons why it was a monopoly.

Creative things have to sell to get acknowledged as such.

Every dream I've ever had in life has come true ten times over.

Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window.

I never left [referring to leaving Apple Computers]. I keep a tiny residual salary to this day because that's where my loyalty should be forever. I want to be an "employee" on the company database. I won't engineer, I'd rather be basically retired due to my family.


Wozniak "aka the Woz" was born on August 11, 1950, in Los Gatos, California, and grew up in Sunnyvale, California. Wozniak's father was an engineer for Lockheed, who always inspired his son's curiosity for learning with a few science fair projects.

Wozniak studied engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, where he first met Steve Jobs, best friend and future business partner.

Wozniak dropped out of Berkeley to work for Hewlett-Packard, designing calculators.

Jobs was not the only interesting character in Wozniak's life. He also befriended famed hacker John Draper aka "Captain Crunch". Draper taught Wozniak how to build a "blue box", a stealth device for making free long distance calls.

Apple Computers & Steve Jobs

Wozniak sold his HP scientific calculator. Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen van. The pair raised $1,300, to create their first prototype computer, the Apple I, which they debuted at a meeting of the Palo Alto-based Homebrew Computer Club.

On April 1, 1976, Jobs and Wozniak formed Apple Computer. Wozniak quit his job at Hewlett-Packard and became the vice president in charge of research and development at Apple.

Leaving Apple

On February 7, 1981, Wozniak crashed his single engine aircraft, in Scotts Valley, California. The crash caused Wozniak to temporarily lose his memory, however, on a deeper level it certainly changed his life. After the accident, Wozniak left Apple and returned to college to finish his degree in electrical engineering and computer science. He also got married, and founded the "UNUSON" (Unite Us In Song) corporation and put on two rock festivals. The enterprise lost money.

Wozniak did return to work for Apple Computers for a brief period between in 1983 and 1985.

Today, Wozniak is the chief scientist for Fusion-io and is a published author with the release of his New York Times Best-Selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon.

He loves children and teaching, and provides many of his students in the Los Gatos school district with free computers.