Steve Wozniak, co-founded Apple Computer Inc. (1976) and helped to shape the computing industry with his design of the Apple I and Apple II in the late 70s. He is also known as a Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for the past three decades. For his achievements at Apple Computer, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States 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.
After leaving Apple in 1985, Wozniak was involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for 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.
Wozniak is one of the three people (Wozniak, Kapor, and one anonymous benefactor) who provided the initial money to found the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Created in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. EFF work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.
Wozniak is called one of “Silicon Valley’s most creative engineers,”. He believes in encouraging free thinking and creativity for youngsters, counsel them against forces of conformity.