I fear time is running out to meet son I was forced to give away
Says John Jandali - Steve Jobs' biological father
THE father who gave away Apple genius Steve Jobs as a baby told The Sun last night he fears he will never get to meet his son.
John Jandali said in his first ever interview: "I live in hope that before it is too late he will reach out to me. Even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man."
The 80-year-old was speaking following the announcement from Jobs, 56, that he was resigning as chief executive of the company behind the iPod and the iPad.
The head of Apple has been fighting pancreatic cancer for seven years. When he stepped down on Wednesday John began to wonder if he was losing his fight with the deadly disease.
Jobs was born in February 1955 in San Francisco. His natural parents were Syrian-born student John and graduate student Joanne Schieble. The couple were young and unmarried so the baby was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs.
John prays his son will one day forgive him for abandoning him and finally allow him to be a part of his life.
John said: "If I could live my life again I would do things entirely differently. And even more so in recent years when I have heard that my son is gravely ill. It makes me feel like time is running out and that I am totally helpless.
"This might sound strange, though, but I am not prepared, even if either of us was on our deathbed, to pick up the phone to call him.
"Steve will have to do that as the Syrian pride in me does not want him ever to think I am after his fortune. I am not. I have my own money. What I don't have is my son ... and that saddens me.
"When he became ill I thought maybe he might contact me to find out about my medical history but the call never came.
"I am shocked and saddened by this announcement as it makes me think it is down to his health.
"That must be the reason for this, given he loved working for the company. I have a horrible feeling this isn't good news."
Sitting with John at his office in Reno, Nevada, the likeness between father and son is uncanny.
But while Steve's illness has aged him beyond his years, his father is a picture of health, looking at least ten years younger than his 80 years.
However, while the pair's health is at odds, their work ethic is a case of like father like son. Six days a week John rises at 5am to work out in the gym before driving 18 miles to the Boomtown Casino and hotel in Reno, where he is vice president.
Yet neither has ever shared a single moment of their successes in the business world - or any part of their lives.
John only discovered five years ago that his son was one of the wealthiest men in the world - this month Apple briefly pipped oil group Exxon to become the world's most valuable company, worth a staggering £210billion.
He said: "I'd be lying if I said it doesn't sadden me to have not been part of my son's incredible journey."
John revealed the devastating circumstances behind Steve's adoption and how he has regretted them all his life.
When Joanne fell pregnant her strict father refused to allow his daughter to marry her lover and keep the baby.
John explained: "When Joanne told me she was pregnant I said I would marry her so we could bring up the baby as a family. I was very much in love with Joanne.
"Sadly, her father was a tyrant and forbade her to marry me as I was from Syria. So she told me she wanted to give the baby up.
"We were living in Wisconsin back then and without telling me Joanne moved to San Francisco to have the baby without anyone knowing, including me.
"She didn't want to bring shame on the family and thought this was the best for everyone. I was sad and angry but I had no choice but to go along with her wishes.
"I honestly do not know to this day if Steve is aware that, had it been my choice, I would have loved to have kept him.
"I didn't even know when Joanne had the baby and I was not there on the day she passed him to the Jobs family. I had no say in who was going to adopt my son but I knew Joanne had insisted the Jobs family make sure he received a good education. I was happy about that.
"And let's face it, they appear to have done an incredible job."
A few months after they gave Steve up Joanne's dad died and she was free to marry John. The couple went on to have a daughter, Mona, but eventually split up and divorced when John was managing a refinery in Syria. Mona is estranged from John too.
Steve tracked down his sister, now 54, and has a close relationship with her and he also sees Joanne. John said: "I read Steve speaks to his mum, that's great. I have no idea why he would choose to speak to her and not me."
Today John lives a comfortable life with his third wife just 250 miles from his estranged son. But he would give up all his worldly wealth in a heartbeat to make amends with the Apple chief.
He said: "It's not just missing out on having Steve in my life. I also have four grandchildren I have never even met and that is something no money can buy.
"I just wish I hadn't been the selfish man I must have been, to allow both my children to turn their backs on me and pray it is not too late to tell Steve how I feel."