Steve Jobs was asked for an autograph in 1983


Steve Jobs had already made a name for himself in 1983. The Apple Lisa was just released – one of the first mouse-controlled computers with a graphical user interface. And along the way, work continued on the original Macintosh.

Californian LN Varon was a big Jobs fan at the time and shared it with him at the time wrote a letter – most people didn’t know much about e-mails back then.

Fun-Fact: The first email was sent by American Ray Tomlinson in 1971. In Germany, more precisely in Karlsruhe, the first mail arrived in 1984.

Steve Jobs was probably quite surprised to find among his business mail a letter asking him to autograph a certain LN Varon.

“I don’t give autographs.” Signed: Steve Jobs«

Steve Jobs declines the request for an autograph and then signs by hand.  Apparently he had a sense of humor. (Image: RR Auctions)






Steve Jobs declines the request for an autograph and then signs by hand. Apparently he had a sense of humor. (Image: RR Auctions)

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The answer Steve Jobs sent to his fan could hardly be more ironic:

‘Dear M. Varon, I am honored that you have written to me, but I am afraid I do not sign autographs. Sincerely, Steve Jobs«

That sounds natural at first glance first disappointing – especially from today’s perspective. If we had received this answer as an email, we would probably have been sad.

In 1983, however, LN Varon is likely to very happy have, because Steve Jobs typed his answer and then signed by hand. So he gave him an autograph after all – albeit not in the usual way.

Whether Steve Jobs was aware of the irony we can’t say for sure, but we have a hard time assuming he was. He probably even found it funny. However, we can say with certainty that it was a very creative idea for an autograph.

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38 years later: auction

An auction in summer 2021 shows what can become of a simple fan mail. RR Auctions has the letter with one Starting bid of $10,000 released for bidding. And how should it be otherwise: the commandments overturned themselves. Eventually, the letter was auctioned for a whopping $480,000.

Among other things, an Apple II manual with Jobs’ signature was auctioned off at the auction. It says: »Your generation is the first to grow up with computers. Go change the world!”.

This seemingly extremely popular collector’s item fetched nearly $630,000 at auction.

Half a million dollars for a mischievous signature from Steve Jobs. That’s a whole mountain of high-end graphics cards! Can you understand the buyer? Would you also buy such memorabilia if you had the wherewithal? What would you buy? Do you already have ideas? Let us know your opinions and experiences in the comments!

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