Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak aka “The Woz”

Co-founder, Apple Computer Inc.
Co-founder Woz U
Co-founder Efforce

A Silicon Valley icon, technology entrepreneur and philanthropist for more than forty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II. He also influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry. He is listed as the sole inventor on four Apple patents.

In 1981, he went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. To date, Wozniak has received ten Honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees. Wozniak, founded the company Unuson, an abbreviation of “unite us in song”, which sponsored US Festivals in 1982 and 1983. Initially intended to celebrate evolving technologies, the festivals ended up as a technology exposition and a rock festival as a combination of music, computers, television, and people.

For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators. In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.

Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on, experiential learning that encourages creativity and innovation by students. Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment.

He also founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. In 2014, he was awarded the Hoover Medal, a prestigious honor given for “outstanding extra-career services by engineers to humanity,” and was inducted into the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame. In 2015, Wozniak received the Legacy for Children Award from the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. The Legacy for Children Award honors individuals whose legacy has significantly benefited the learning and lives of children. The Cal Alumni Association (UC Berkeley’s Alumni Association) presented Wozniak with the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award.

Wozniak is the author of iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon (Norton Publishing), his New York Times best-selling autobiography. His television appearances include: ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, The Big Bang Theory, My Life on the D List, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Celebrity Watch Party.

Wozniak continues to pursue his entrepreneurial and philanthropic interests to this day. In October 2017, Steve co-founded Woz U — a postsecondary education and training platform focused on software engineering and technology development. He has also recently co-founded Efforce — which leverages disparate applications of blockchain technology.

When Woz and his wife, Janet, are not traveling the world trying to inspire the next generation or building sustainable businesses, they live a happy life in Los Gatos, California with their four Bichon Friese dogs Ziggy, Zelda, Jewel and Wozzie. 

Math, Science, Electronics awards:

  • 1972 U. Colorado, DeAnza, U.C. Berkeley (EECS program)
  • 1976 Hewlett Packard, designing calculator chips
  • 1979 designed early Apple Computer products
  • 1979 awarded the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award
  • 1980 became Freemason (California), currently lifetime member
  • Charity Lodge Campbell, CA but not active
  • 1983 sponsored the first 3 USSR space bridges
  • 1984 heavy computer group speaking schedule
  • 1984 Democratic convention delegate (Hart)
  • 1985 founded CL 9 to build the first programmable remote control
  • 1985 Both Woz & Steve Jobs received the National Medal of Technology from US President Ronald Reagan
  • 1987 BS EECS U.C. Berkeley
  • 1987 sponsored first joint US/USSR stadium rock concert (Moscow)
  • 1989 awarded Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from University of Colorado Boulder
  • 1990 helped Found Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
  • 1990 San Jose CPA additions, San Jose Cleveland Ballet, Tech Museum (first major sponsor), and Children’s Discovery Museum
  • 1990 sponsored computers for schools in USSR through U.S./U.S.S.R. Iniative
  • 1996 computer support for Los Gatos Unified School District, 11 modern labs, technology planning, computer lab plannings and wirings, school LAN planning and wirings, district WAN planning and providing and supporting (for now), classes for teachers on basic computer usage, classes for teachers on network topics, classes for 5th graders each year covering homework preparation, computer understanding, computer maintenance, networks, etc (200 hours for the year), classes for advanced students (5th through 8th grade) covering advanced graphics, photography, video, sound, networks, programming.
  • 1998 named a Fellow for the Computer History Museum.
  • 1999 City of San Jose named a street “Woz Way” in his honor
  • 1999 featured in the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. Joey Slotnick portrayed Woz
  • 2000 inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame
  • 2001 awarded the Annual Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy & Employment
  • 2001 founded Wheels of Zeus (WOZ) to create wireless GPS technology
  • 2004 awarded Honorary Doctor of Sciences degree from North Carolina State University
  • 2005 awarded Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Kettering and Nova Southeastern University
  • 2006 co-authored “iWoz: From Computer geek to Cult Icon: How I invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple and Had Fun Doing It.
  • 2008 awarded Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from ESPOL University in Ecuador
  • 2009 competed on Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars. He danced with Karina Smirnoff.
  • 2011 awarded the Isaac Asimov Science Award
  • 2011 awarded Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Michigan State University
  • 2011 awarded the Global Award from the President of Armenia for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity through IT
  • 2011 awarded Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from State Engineering University of Armenia
  • 2011 awarded Honorary Doctor of Sciences degree from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
  • 2012 awarded Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Santa Clara University
  • 2013 awarded Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from University Camilo Jose in Madrid, Spain
  • 2013 featured in the movie Jobs. Josh Gad portrayed Woz
  • 2014 awarded the Hoover Medal from IEEE President and CEO
  • 2014 awarded Lifetime Achievement Award from Young Presidents Organization
  • 2014 awarded Manufacturing Hall of Fame from Industry Week
  • 2015 received the Legacy for Children Award from Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
  • 2015 awarded Alumnus of the Year from UC Berkeley Alumni Association
  • 2015 featured in the movie Steve Jobs. Seth Rogen portrayed Woz
  • 2015 featured in the American Genius series for National Geographic.
  • 2017 Co-Founded Woz U, an online educational technology service for independent students
  • 2017 listed 18 on the list of the 200 most influential Philanthropists and Social Entrepreneurs by UK Richtopia
  • 2020 listed 33 on Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World

Did you Know Woz…

  • is a lifelong prankster
  • is a Segway Polo Player
  • earned his Ham Radio license in the 6th grade
  • has 3 adult children, 5 (and counting) grandchildren and 4 furry Bichon “kids”
  • has appeared as himself in several TV shows including “The Big Bang Theory” In 2010 he appeared with his wife Janet on The Big Bang Theory season 4 episode “The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification”.
  • produced the 1982 and 1983 US Festival events in San Bernardino, CA
  • was featured in the 1999 movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. Joey Slotnick portrayed Woz
  • was featured in the 2015 movie Steve Jobs. Seth Rogen portrayed Woz
  • in 2009 competed on Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars. He danced with Karina Smirnoff.

Believes in encouraging free thinking and creativity for youngsters, counsel them against forces of conformity and drugs which leave them “not the master” of their fate.

Woz loves children and dogs.