The FBI responded to a Freedom of Information Act request on Thursday and released Steve Jobs’ FBI file for all the world to see. Those who read Walter Isaacson’s recent biography will find much of the content familiar.
Still, there are some interesting tidbits, many of which refer to Steve Jobs’ use of drugs. The agency seemed to be a little obsessed with finding out whether, in the early 1990s, he was a current user.
Few thought he was.
Most of the interviews included in the file involved a background check conducted in 1991, explains Wired. The first President Bush was considering the Pixar CEO for an appointment to his Export Council.
He didn’t get the job.
Whether that had something to do with his prior drug use is unknown, but it was a hot issue for the FBI agents interviewing Jobs’ family, friends and employees. One interviewee believed Jobs’ may have “experimented with illegal drugs” during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Another confirmed he “used illegal drugs, including marijuana and LSD, while they were attending college.”
If it wasn’t drugs that cost him the job, maybe it was his personality. Whoever was in charge of Steve Jobs’ FBI file wrote, “Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs’ honesty, stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.” Ouch.
This is pretty personal stuff, even for a deceased public figure. But it seems the Justice Department believes the privacy exception does not apply to deceased individuals. It had to release Steve Jobs’ FBI file when it got the request.
- The FBI’s Steve Jobs File: Computing ‘Genius,’ Lousy GPA (Forbes)
- Steve Jobs Action Figure to Spur Another Apple Lawsuit? (FindLaw’s Technologist)
- How Lawyers Can Channel Their ‘Inner Steve Jobs’ (FindLaw’s Technologist)