Stephen Gary Wozniak also known by his nickname "Woz", is an American electronics engineer, programmer, philanthropist, and technology entrepreneur. In 1976, he co-founded Apple Inc. with partner and co-founder Steve Jobs, which later became the world's largest information technology company by revenue and the largest company in the world by market capitalization. Through their work at Apple in the 1970s and 1980s, he and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs are widely recognized as two prominent pioneers of the personal computer revolution.
Steve Wozniak was born and raised in San Jose, California, the son of Margaret Louise Wozniak (née Kern) (1923–2014) from Washington state (p18) and Francis Jacob "Jerry" Wozniak (1925–1994) from Michigan. (p18) His father, Jerry Wozniak, was an engineer for Lockheed Corporation. (p1) He graduated from Homestead High School in 1968, in Cupertino, California.
The name on Wozniak's birth certificate is "Stephan Gary Wozniak", but his mother said that she intended it to be spelled "Stephen," which is what he uses.(p18) Wozniak has mentioned his surname being Ukrainian and has spoken of his Ukrainian and Polish descent. (pp129–130)
In the early 1970s, Wozniak's blue box design earned him the nickname "Berkeley Blue" in the phreaking community.
Wozniak has credited watching Star Trek and attending Star Trek conventions while in his youth as a source of inspiration for his starting Apple Computer, Inc.
Wozniak lives in Los Gatos, California. He applied for Australian citizenship in 2012, and has stated that he would like to live in Melbourne, Australia in the future. Wozniak has been referred to frequently by the nickname "Woz", or "The Woz"; he has also been called "The Wonderful Wizard of Woz" and "The Second Steve" (in regard to his early business partner and longtime friend, Steve Jobs). "WoZ" (short for "Wheels of Zeus") is the name of a company Wozniak founded in 2002; it closed in 2006.
Wozniak describes his impetus for joining the Freemasons in 1979 as being able to spend more time with his then-wife, Alice Robertson, who belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star, associated with the Masons. Wozniak has said that he quickly rose to a third degree Freemason because, whatever he does, he tries to do well. He was initiated in 1979 at Charity Lodge No. 362 in Campbell, California, now part of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 292 in Los Gatos. Today he is no longer involved: "I did become a Freemason and know what it's about but it doesn't really fit my tech/geek personality. Still, I can be polite to others from other walks of life. After our divorce was filed I never attended again but I did contribute enough for a lifetime membership."