Born Aug 11 1950
Microcomputer for Use with Video Display
Patent Number(s) 4,136,359
Wozniak's Apple II personal computer - introduced in 1977 and featuring a central processing unit (CPU), keyboard, floppy disk drive and a $1,300 price tag - helped launch the PC industry. In 1980, just a little more than four years after being founded, Apple went public.
The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry.
All his life, Steve Wozniak has loved projects that require him to think. In sixth grade, he built his own amateur radio station and earned a ham-radio license. At age 13, he built his first computer, and in high school, he was president of the electronics club.
After graduating from Homestead (Calif.) High School in 1968, Wozniak attended the University of California-Berkeley. In the mid-1970's, he designed calculator chips for Hewlett Packard. Then, in 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs, also a Homestead grad, founded Apple Computer, Inc. with the Apple I computer. The company, begun as a two-man operation in Jobs' garage, grew to a $500-million-a-year company in six years. Wozniak left Apple in 1981, went back to Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. Since then, he has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools, including an initiative in 1990 to place computers in schools in the former Soviet Union.
Wozniak's strong belief in education has prompted him to donate computers and even entire computer labs to schools; servers and Internet access to students; laptops for students and computer training for teachers and students. Wozniak's time now is devoted mostly to his own interests. His belief in hands-on learning and in encouraging freethinking and creativity in youngsters continues to be his driving force.