Small Fry | Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Summary of: Small Fry: A Memoir
By: Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Introduction

Welcome to the captivating world of ‘Small Fry: A Memoir,’ a heartwarming account of Lisa Brennan-Jobs as she navigates life with her enigmatic father, Steve Jobs. This memoir explores the turbulence of a father-daughter relationship, shining a light on the complexities of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery. As you delve into this summary, expect to encounter a gripping narrative that encapsulates the on-and-off relationship between Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs and the birth of a daughter who strives to find her place in her father’s heart.

Steve Jobs and Chrisann Brennan: The Early Days

In 1972, Steve Jobs and Chrisann Brennan met in high school and started an on-again, off-again relationship that lasted nearly six years. They fell in love in the first year and stood up against Chrisann’s mother, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Steve and Chrisann moved in together in the summer, paid rent by selling “blue boxes,” and Steve left for Reed College in the fall only to drop out. Chrisann started dating someone else, and their relationship ended without much conversation. Two years later, they reunited, and Chrisann started working at Apple, but she planned to leave Steve. However, an unintended pregnancy changed her plans, and Steve’s furious reaction marked a turning point in their relationship.

Steve Jobs’ Paternity Case

In 1980, Steve Jobs was sued by the district attorney of San Mateo County to pay child support for his daughter, Lisa, whom he had denied paternity for years and provided no substantial financial support. After a DNA test proved he was Lisa’s father, Steve settled the case by paying $500 per month in child support, health insurance until Lisa’s eighteenth birthday, and reimbursing the state all welfare payments. This occurred four days before Apple went public, and Steve became worth two hundred million dollars. Despite being legally recognized as Lisa’s father, Steve continued to deny paternity, but would still carry a picture of Lisa in his wallet and tell people that he was trying to be there for her.

Steve Jobs’ Daughter

Lisa Brennan-Jobs had a tough upbringing with a mother who loved her but struggled to provide for her. Meanwhile, her father, Steve Jobs, was a multimillionaire and a distant figure in her life. Despite fears of being kidnapped, Lisa couldn’t resist telling her new friends at school who her father was. Chrisann’s frustrations overflowed in frightening outbreaks characterized by screaming obscenities at the windshield and insulting epithets at her daughter. When Lisa turned thirteen, due to the situation at home, officials called Steve, informing him that if he didn’t take her in, they would be forced to call social services. Upon learning that she’d be living with Steve, it felt like a fantasy come true; however, reality proved to be quite different.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ Relationship with her Father, Steve Jobs

Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, spent her youth trying to build a relationship with her father. A brief interaction in passing one day, ended up being something that would weigh heavily on her. Steve asked her if she wanted to change her name; a request that had her reeling. Lisa eventually landed on a hyphenated version of both last names, but this did not entitle her to any special treatment. Steve was often highly critical of Lisa’s efforts to impress him and frequently insinuated that she did not want to be a part of his family.

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