Handwritten letter from Steve Jobs sells for $500,000

An autographed one-page letter signed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and dated February 23, 1974 sent to Tim Brown along with an autographed torn envelope has been sold via Bonham’s auction house for $500,312.00.

Handwritten letter from Steve Jobs
Handwritten letter from Steve Jobs (click or tap for larger)

Tim Brown, the recipient of the present letter, was one of Jobs’ closest friends from Homestead High. In response to Brown’s letter sharing his thoughts on Zen Buddhism.

Postmarked a day before his 19th birthday, this letter finds Jobs returning to the South Bay from his time in Oregon after he dropped out of Reed College and spent time on the All One apple farm.

Around this time, Jobs was working at Atari, the Sunnyvale-based video game company led by Nolan Bushnell, saving money for his trip to India.

As evidenced by the lack of a return address on the envelope, Jobs didn’t have a fixed address. He ostensibly moved back in with his parents on Crist Drive in Los Altos, but he also stayed with friends including his girlfriend Chrisann Brennan. He mentions in the letter that he’s “living on a farm in the mountains between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz.” Some sources state that he had lived in a Los Gatos cabin in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains at this time, though none provide exact details.

The letter reads, verbatim:

tim i have read your letter many times / i do not know what to say. many mornings have come and gone / people have came and went / i have loved and i have cried many times. / somehow, though, beneath it all it doesn’t change – do you understa understand?

i am now living on a farm in the mountains between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz. i wish to go to india for the Kumba Mela, which starts in April. i will be leaving sometime in March, not really certain yet. if you desire, and i am still here when you arive (sic), we can come up here in the mountains together and you can tell me your thoughts and feelings, which I did not fully understand from your letter. There is a fire in the other room and i am getting cold here. i will end by saying i do not even know where to begin.

shanti / steve jobs.

No autograph letters from Jobs have previously appeared at auction.

MacDailyNews Note: Bonhams’ full listing is here.

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