He was a 'notoriously difficult signer' as he seldom signed autographs for anyone asking for one.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 25, 2022. It has since been updated.
Long before the revolution of smartphones and portable cameras, autographs were the way to keep the memories of your favorite celebrity alive. People often chased famous personalities just to get their signatures and one man in 1983 wrote to Steve Jobs asking for his autograph. He never would have thought in his wildest dreams that Jobs would respond and he did so in the most hilarious way possible.
Jobs, an American Tycoon, responded with a letter that was posted on Reddit by TheRogue_Orca. The typed letter is dated May 11, 1983, and is typed on an original apple letterhead. It is addressed to M. Varon from Imperial Beach, California, and reads, "I'm honored that you'd write, but I'm afraid I don't sign autographs." However, in a twist he signed off the letter with his original signature, ultimately giving the autograph anyway.
The humorous reply is making rounds on Reddit with 10.6k upvotes and hundreds of comments. Reddit users called it "Nerd humor" and dubbed Jobs as a "sly fox." Some users suggested that this original typed letter might be worth a lot of money. DfenselessOldLady commented, "That’s gonna be worth some serious money. Lock that baby in a safety deposit box and wait 30 years." MissChievous8 added, "It's already worth a lot. Someone sold an apple manual signed by Steve for just under eight hundred thousand about a year or two ago."
They actually weren't lying as according to RR Auction, this original letter was sold for $479,939 on August 19, 2021. The website describes Jobs as a "notoriously difficult signer" and he denied almost all of the autograph requests he received in the mail or in person. He wasn't satisfied with the "appeals of autograph seekers." However, in this original letter, he declines to give an autograph, which may have been on a magazine or photograph, but also signs it off with his "distinctive, lowercase signature."
The authenticity of the letter is verified by PSA/DNA and is 100% original. Jobs died in 2011 after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, according to News Week. The signature of Apple's co-founder is frequently sold for large sums of money. When auctioned, early-era Apple collectibles and products may fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Jobs isn't the only famous personality who has responded to fan requests in a hilarious way. Tom Hanks, who is widely known for his love for typewriters, was bribed by Comedian Chris Hardwick, the host, and founder of the podcast "Nerdist." Hardwick was aware of the actor's fondness for vintage typewriters and intended to leverage it. He gave Hanks a 1934 Smith Corona typewriter and a written invitation, asking him to "please accept this typewriter-o-gram as a formal invitation to be a guest on my wildly popular with kids Nerdist Podcast."
In response Hanks wrote him a letter writing, "Dear Chris, Ashley, and all the diabolical geniuses at Nerdist Industries, Just who do you think you are to try to bribe into an appearance on your 'thing' with this gift of the most fantastic Corona Silent typewriter made in 1934?" He typed this letter on the same vintage typewriter Hardwick sent and added, "OH, OKAY! I will have my people contact yours and work out some kind of interview process. Damn you all to hell!" He obviously appeared on Hardwick's podcast later and it all was possible due to a typewriter.