It was after Steve Jobs lost his battle to cancer that the biography simply called Steve Jobs was released. The book was written after hours and hours of interviews with the legendary co-founder, former chairman, and former chief executive officer of Apple. Some people were shocked to learn some intimate details about the genius’s personal life, but especially about his recreational drug use.
It was already shocking that Jobs had risen to such heights without a college degree (He quit school after six months and hoped everything “would be fine.”), but most people didn’t know about him dabbling in Eastern philosophy, veganism, not showering and using lots of mind-altering substances.
Apparently, LSD was Steve Jobs’ drug of choice. In fact, he wanted little to do with anyone who didn’t experiment with the drug. During Apple’s early years, Jobs sought out rebellious applicants, not the usual technology geeks who actually answered the postings for jobs.
When one uptight candidate came in for an interview, Jobs asked him, “Are you a virgin?” and “How many times have you taken LSD?”
Not only did Jobs want to have colleagues who explored their own minds with psychedelics, but he also chalked up his own success to drugs. This has all come to light from past FBI files on Jobs, from the days when he needed government clearance to work on Pixar.
In the clearance questionnaire, Jobs confessed: “Throughout that period of time [1972-1974] I used the LSD approximately ten to fifteen times,” Jobs said. “I would ingest the LSD on a sugar cube or in a hard form of gelatin. I would usually take the LSD when I was by myself. I have no words to explain the effect the LSD had on me, although, I can say it was a positive life changing experience for me and I am glad I went through that experience.” Jobs also smoked marijuana or hashish, or ate it cooked into chocolate brownies, once or twice a week between 1973 and 1977.
For many people, these revelations won’t come as much of a surprise. Apparently, many brilliant people — often innovators — have used drugs to expand the boundaries of their minds. Bill Gates, another billionaire techy, also has a past with LSD. For some reason, our culture doesn’t equate genius with drug use, but Steve Jobs definitely is proof that the two are not always mutually exclusive.