Steve Jobs Signed a Typed Letter Saying He Does Not Give out Autographs, It Later Sold for $400K

portrait of Steve Jobs

Photo: Matthew Yohe via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Some people are fans of musicians and athletes. But for those who follow technology closely, the people they admire the most are the brilliant minds who have made great advances. Among them, two of the most respected and beloved are Apple's founders, Steve Wozniak and the late Steve Jobs. Much like with any other celebrities, people also long for an autograph from their heroes. Over 40 years ago, someone decided to shoot their shot and reach out to Jobs for his signature. The response from the late inventor was an example of his cleverness, and would be remembered to this day.

Back in 1983, Apple wasn't the mammoth it is today, but its unique approach to operating systems had made waves among computing enthusiasts. This inspired a person named L.N. Varon from Imperial Beach, California, to write to Jobs in the hopes of getting a unique piece of memorabilia. However, Jobs, who passed away in 2011, wasn't a crowd pleaser. He was known to decline most autograph requests both in person and through the mail. It is not known whether the sender enclosed a printed photograph or a magazine clip, but even if they did, the got something more special. The response was a standard 8.5″ x 11″ letter with an Apple Computer Inc. letterhead that is dated May 11, 1983.

Jobs' message reads, “I’m honored that you’d write, but I’m afraid I don’t sign autographs.” And while that would have been the end of it, he did something even more revealing of his cheeky personality. Jobs then signed the letter with his famous lowercase signature in black ink.

Fast forward to 2021, and Apple's role in innovation has made the cult following around Jobs' work grow to astronomical levels. This made the artifacts related to his legacy even more sought-after. When the 1983 letter was auctioned by RR Auction, it sold for $478,939. The auction house described it as “a great, early autograph from the Apple founder.” They've also sold signed business cards, an autographed iPad, Jobs' 1976 computer prototype, and even a signed movie ticket stub from Pirates of the Caribbean. Still, nothing may ever come close to the cleverness of the letter.

Steve Jobs rarely gave out autographs, but he once cleverly indulged in a letter that would later sell for $478,939. It read: “I’m honored that you’d write, but I’m afraid I don’t sign autographs,” before Jobs signed it in black ink.

Steve Jobs typed letter to a fan who had requested a autograph from him, the letter ended up selling at auction for $400k
byu/santiClaud inDamnthatsinteresting

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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