Steve Jobs and family have been donating to charity for more than two decades

“In Silicon Valley, people get very rich, very fast, often when they are very young. As a result, they are often criticized for not giving away enough of that money,” Claire Cain Miller reports for The New York Times. “But many in tech are still in their 20s, and say they are working long days running companies and trying to improve the world with their products, and will be able to focus on philanthropy later in life.”

“There is another story line, though, one brought to light by the tale of Laurene Powell Jobs,” Miller reports. “She is the widow of Steve Jobs, one of the tech titans who received the most criticism for a lack of philanthropy. Yet for more than two decades, his family has been giving away money — anonymously.”

Miller reports, “‘We’re really careful about amplifying the great work of others in every way that we can, and we don’t like attaching our names to things,’ Ms. Powell Jobs said in an interview for a profile that Peter Lattman and I wrote in The New York Times last week.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What was that we said way back when? Oh, yeah:

“The way in which people approach charity, how much money people give or don’t give to charity, and which charities they may or may not support is none of Leander Kahney’s or anybody else’s damn business. Our advice to Kahney is to… go read Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Address to Stanford University, and take Jobs’ advice to heart, ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.'” – MacDailyNews Take, is response to Wired News’ Leander Kahney’s questioning of Steve Jobs’ charitable giving, January 25, 2006

“People who question whether others are giving to charity are uncouth and classless. Charity does’t have to come with a press release and a photo op. Mind your own business, Mr. Sorkin.” – MacDailyNews Take, is response to The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin’s questioning of Steve Jobs’ charitable giving, August 30, 2011

Related articles:
On charity, Steve Jobs has a right to remain silent – August 30, 2011
Kahney jumps shark: praises Gates, crassly criticizes Steve Jobs over charitable donations – January 25, 2006


  1. Steven Jobs said back in 1980s that his charity is anonymous. But there is public part of it, too: Jobs agreed that Apple would be part of “Product RED” program, and Apple became by far the biggest charity contributor there. Plus, couple of years ago Jobs signed charitable matching program that would help victims of Japanese earthquake.

    Jobs also personally participated in both in medical and emotional support of both people he loved and people never knew personally. He was recorded numerously dropping whatever he was doing to help others.

    Does this match the picture that was painted by Walter Isaacson’s judgemental, half-fished biography, as well as to what media portrays?

    No, because this more real picture of Jobs would make his character less polarizing and scandalous. Not that Jobs would cease to be controversial figure if people would get real picture of who he was, but making Jobs even partially less controversial is not what Isaacson or the media want.

  2. Charitable acts do not need to be shouted from the rooftops – as is done by other organizations. Kudos to Apple and the Jobs family for not falling for that kind of activity.

    If charity is done in order to gain a reward or to be seen by man, then it is no longer charitable.

    Hat’s off for MDN’s take on the topic.

    1. “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
      Matthew 6:1-4

  3. I have made a monthly donation to MacMillan Nurses since I was 19 and they helped my Dad die with dignity when he had terminal cancer. It’s personal to me; I don’t tell anyone because it’s something I choose to do out of respect for the absolutely priceless service those nurses provided for my Dad.

    I’ve no doubt SJ donated lots of money to charity, he just chose not to talk about it.

  4. Steve Jobs is a wonderful man i have Diabetes i wrote to him and asked for his help and he got me a Glucose Sensor which lets me know when my sugar levels drop,i live in the uk being ill put’s new light on life plus the Sensor is not cheep,
    Thanks Steve and God Bless You.

  5. Whatever mental system gets people to help others is fine with me, as long as that ‘help’ is real.

    Bill Gates: I believe he is the single most visible philanthropist on the planet because:
    A) He feels guilty for screwing over a generation of computer users with crapware.
    B) He has major insecurity issues for which he over-compensates with ‘LOOK AT ME!’ issues.

    Steve Jobs: Had none of the above personal issues. Not an attention whore. His family gives to give, no ulterior motives required. Bravo.

    Dummies looking to place a scale on giving to others are themselves attention whores.

    1. I commend anyone who gives of their time or money or resources to help others. Some people do it openly. Some not. I certainly would never fault either. Or use it as a reason to run down one or the other. That would make me less than anything that I could ever call either of them negatively. What really matters is that those in need receive aid. To criticize those who help, anonymously or not, is the lowest of low.

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