Steve Jobs once declined an autograph request in the funniest way possible

Letter signed by Steve Jobs
(Image credit: RR Auction)

When Steve Jobs received a letter asking him for an autograph back in 1983, the sender of that letter might have hoped that they'd get what they'd asked for. And sure enough, they did — but not in the way that they might have expected.

What they did receive was a letter from Jobs in which he said that he was "honored" to have received the request. But he went on, adding that he didn't sign autographs.

That letter, of course, was hand signed by Jobs himself, making for what might be the funniest autograph you're likely to come across.

An (almost) priceless letter

This letter later made its way to RR Auction and sold for a huge sum of money — a whopping $480,000 in fact.

Jobs was known for not giving out autographs very often, something that might have helped the 2021 auction hit such heady heights. The letter itself was a single page and carried the Apple Computer, Inc. letterhead. Dated May 11, 1983, the letter itself is already more than 40 years old.

"A notoriously difficult signer, Steve Jobs routinely declined most requests—whether in person or through the mail, he very rarely satisfied the appeals of autograph seekers," the auction description reads. "In this curious correspondence, he both declines to sign an autograph—perhaps a photograph or magazine was enclosed—while boldly endorsing the close of the letter in ink with his distinctive, lowercase signature. A great, early autograph from the Apple founder."

The autograph is a great example of Jobs' fun side, one that we don't often hear about. Jobs was known for being a hard taskmaster during his time at Apple, although his methods did oversee the company's return to form that saw the arrival of one of the best Macs ever in the original iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and more turn it into the behemoth that it is today.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.