“On a recent night at an elegant Beaux-Arts ballroom in San Francisco’s financial district, Laurene Powell Jobs received a computer with an unusually rich history,” Nick Wingfield reports for The New York Times. “Around 1980, Ms. Powell Jobs’s husband, Steven P. Jobs, donated the computer to a nonprofit organization, the Seva Foundation, to help the group manage data from its efforts to restore sight in the developing world. The nonprofit was now giving the computer — an Apple II that spent the last 33 years in Katmandu, Nepal, most of it packed away in a hospital basement there — back to Ms. Powell Jobs and her children from her marriage to Mr. Jobs.”
“The Apple II would be little more than an artifact in the history of a nonprofit if it was not also a rare symbol of the charity of Mr. Jobs, a man celebrated for his vision and leadership in the technology industry but who was routinely criticized before his death for his lack of giving,” Wingfield reports. “Mr. Jobs shied away from philanthropy, at least of the public variety. Although his wife has long been an active benefactor of various causes, Mr. Jobs was portrayed as somewhat disdainful of philanthropic endeavors by his authorized biographer, Walter Isaacson.”
“That perception of Mr. Jobs has troubled Larry Brilliant, a longtime friend of Mr. and Ms. Jobs who, as a young physician, co-founded Seva in 1978. ‘I do want to counter the meme that he was disinterested in philanthropy and things for the greater good,’ said Dr. Brilliant. ‘It wasn’t true,'” Wingfield reports. “Ms. Powell Jobs accepted the computer with her son, Reed, at a ceremony commemorating the organization’s 35th anniversary. Seva says it has helped restore sight to 3.5 million people in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Tibet, India and other countries since it was founded. ‘Steve was always very clear about his role in the genesis of Seva and it was his privilege to help support the heroic on-the-ground work of the doctors and health professionals involved in this courageous effort,’ Ms. Powell Jobs said in a statement. ‘It’s amazing Seva found the Apple II donated by Steve and our family is thrilled to have it returned.'”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]