Steve Wozniak perhaps isn't as well-known as his Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, but "Woz" was instrumental in shaping the history of personal computers. In 1976, Wozniak was one of the main founders of Apple Computers, responsible for releasing some of the first personal computers on the market. Wozniak personally developed the Apple II, which was one of the best-selling PCs of that time, and established Apple as a major player in microcomputing.

An accomplished engineer in his own right, Wozniak has four patents to his credit, and has masterminded several other technological advancements, including the first programmable universal remote control, a wireless GPS technology, and more. Wozniak remained an official Apple employee until 1985 when he decided to step down from the company. He pursued several other businesses and philanthropic ventures throughout his career, focusing largely on technology in K–12 schools. A legendary figure in Silicon Valley, Wozniak has been bestowed with numerous awards and decorations for his contribution in the field of science and technology. This includes a National Medal of Technology, over a dozen honorary doctorate degrees, and induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

Despite Wozniak's distaste for formal education, he found himself enrolling in classes on UC Berkeley’s campus in 1971. When not attending class, studying, or using Berkeley’s top supercomputer, the future co-founder of Apple Computer was building gadget known as “blue boxes,” which allowed fellow students to make free long-distance calls. At the end of his junior year, Wozniak left school to get a job at Hewlett-Packard, where he also began designing the first Apple computer with Jobs. Years later, Wozniak returned to Berkeley, this time under the pseudonym of "Rocky Clark." Several credits shy of graduation, he left Berkeley for the second time, but received equivalency credits for his work at Apple. In 1986 Wozniak was officially awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from UC Berkeley.

Throughout the years, Wozniak has established himself as one of his alma mater's most accomplished and respected alumni. His efforts to support Cal include showing up for public events and also making significant financial contributions. In 2015 the university's alumni association presented Wozniak with the Alumnus of the Year Award, noting his many contributions over the previous 25 years. Wozniak is also considered a Builder of Berkeley, a title given to donors who've gifted more than a million dollars to the university. In fact, a lounge at Berkeley’s Soda Hall, which houses the computer science department, is named in his honor. Wozniak was selected as speaker for Berkeley’s 2013 graduation, where he told students, "The proudest moment of my life... it was my graduation day, right here at this campus."