Steve Jobs’ FBI file: Drug use, bomb threats and bits o’ gossip

Anyone want to peek at Steve Jobs’ FBI file? Yes, please!

On Thursday the FBI released a 191-page file that the agency compiled on Jobs in 1991. It contains multiple confirmations of Jobs’ dabblings in marijuana and LSD, as well as some notes on a bomb threat he received in 1985.

But the juicy stuff is in pages and pages of notes of interviews the FBI conducted with Jobs’ friends, ex-friends, neighbors, employees and colleagues, one of whom described the computer industry icon as “willing to twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.”



There is also this delightful detail: One FBI agent trying to meet with Jobs wrote that his secretary said he would have to wait three weeks to see Jobs and might not get even a full hour of his time.

The file, released under the Freedom of Information Act, was assembled because Jobs was being considered for a presidential appointment by George H.W. Bush to the President’s Export Council. The FBI agents were asked to make sure that Jobs didn’t display any racial, gender, or religious prejudices, that he didn’t abuse alcohol and drugs, and that he lived within his financial means.

DOCUMENT: Steve Jobs’ FBI file

The agents interviewed more than 30 people who knew Jobs, some of whom liked him, many of whom did not.


For example, one agent wrote: “Another person, who admitted to feeling bitter towards Jobs and alienated from him, said his moral character is questionable.”

Another note relays this description of Jobs: “Strongwilled, stubborn, hardworking, and driven, which they believe is why he is so successful. And that Mr. Jobs possesses integrity as long as he gets his way; however they did not elaborate on this.”

An interviewee who said she grew up with Jobs described him as a charismatic visionary who was callous in his personal relationships and whose personal life was lacking due to his “narcissism and shallowness.”

The names of the interviewees, as well as the agents who conducted the interviews, were removed from the report before it was released.



Photos: Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Timeline: The life and work of Steve Jobs

Photos: Friends and colleagues remember Steve Jobs