Laurene Powell initially became famous for being the wife of American billionaire businessman and former Apple Inc. CEO, Steven Jobs. She has however built her own popularity over the years, owing to her deep commitment to humanitarian activities. Just like her late husband, Laurene Powell is also a business executive and philanthropist. She has founded and co-founded several life impacting companies and organisations, especially in the area of education, social justice and environmental conservation.
Now the widow of the late business magnate, Laurene manages a good part of Steve Jobs’ estate including the Steven P. Jobs Trust but is most popular as the founder and CEO of Emerson Collective.
Join us as we delve into the life of this powerful and famous woman.
Laurene Powell Bio
Laurene Powell, a white American was born on the 6th day of November, 1963 in West Milford, New Jersey, United States. She lost her father to a plane accident at the age of 3. Following her dad’s death her mum remarried.
Laurene grew up in her birthplace, West Milford alongside her two siblings, Brad and Tracy Powell. On finishing high school, she proceeded to the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences for a bachelors degree in Political Science. She also earned a B.Sc. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1985.
On completing her studies at Penn, Powell landed a job at Merrill Lynch Global Asset Management Limited in New York City. She later worked for Goldman Sachs for three years. In 1989, she enrolled for her postgraduate studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, receiving her M.B.A in 1991.
Laurene Powell met Steve Jobs in 1989 while studying at Stanford. Steve was at her school to deliver a lecture. Having arrived when the seats were all filled up, Laurene was offered a seat in the reserved area next to Steve and the duo struck up a conversation before Steve took the stage. Later in the evening, they had dinner together and the rest became history. The pair married on the 18th day of March, 1991.
The wedding which was a Buddhist ceremony came off at the Ahwahnee Hotel located in the famous Sierra Nevada mountains’ Yosemite National Park in California.
Powell is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Stanford University as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations. She currently lives in Palo Alto, California with her children.
In 1997, Laurene Powell co-founded College Track, a non-profit organisation located in East Palo Alto which focuses on increasing the rate at which underprivileged students graduate from high school, enroll into colleges as well as complete their education. Laurene is also one of the founding members of Climate Leadership Council.
In 2004 she founded Emerson Collective, a private humanitarian organisation also based in Palo Alto which focuses on advocating for education and immigration policies reform, social justice, media/journalism, and environmental preservation. The establishment also partners with and supports startups and organisations that work in the above mentioned areas.
In September 2015, Laurene initiated “XQ: The Super School Project”. The $150 million project which is funded by Emerson Collective is aimed at creating high schools with improved plans and approaches to teaching and learning.
Powell is also a member of the Board of Directors of Conservation International. Laurene also served in the BoD of Achieva as well as on the Advisory Board of Udacity Inc. which are both organisations that assist students. Other institutions that Powell is committed to include NewSchools Venture Fund’s Investment Arm, New America Foundation, ODC San Francisco, Global Fund for Women, CleanFish, KQED (PBS), TPG The Rise Fund, and Ed Voice.
Laurene Powell’s Net Worth
Laurene Powell has a current net worth of $20.4 billion. Although she initially had significant wealth to her name, her husband’s death skyrocketed her worth after she inherited his stake (the Steven P. Jobs Trust) in The Walt Disney Company as well as his shares in Apple Inc.
In addition to her late husband’s assets, Powell manages a number of businesses that contributes to her net worth. She is a co-founder of Terravera, a company that supplies natural food stuffs to food manufacturing companies across northern California. Laurene, via her Emerson Collective also acquired majority ownership of The Atlantic magazine. Moreover, the businesswoman recently became one of the major owners of Monumental Sports & Entertainment after purchasing about twenty percent of the company’s shares.
Adding to Laurene’s wealth are her properties in real estate, including a $16.5 million house on Russian Hill, San Francisco. She acquired the property in May, 2018. She also owns several cars, two private jets and a 100 million yacht.
Laurene Powell had three kids with Steve Jobs – Reed, Erin, and Eve. Reed, the first child and son was born in September 1991. Erin, the second child and first daughter arrived in 1995. Laurene and Steve finally welcomed Eve in 1998.
Reed’s occupation at the moment is not known, but Erin is an architecture and designer while Eve is an equestrian.
In addition to her three biological children, Powell is also a stepmother to Lisa Brennan-Jobs, a daughter from Steve Jobs’ previous relationship born in 1978. Lisa is a writer and journalist.
Facts About Steve Jobs Wife
Laurene Powell has been making Forbes’ list of World Most Powerful Women since 2013, ranking 22nd in 2018. Still in 2018, she placed 40th in the magazine’s List of World Billionaires. She had also emerged Forbes’ 2015 #9 World Richest Woman in tech industry.
In addition, President Barack Obama appointed her to become part of the White House Council for Community Solutions.
2. Her husband, Steve Jobs
Steven Jobs was an American business tycoon and investor most popular as the co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. as well as the founder and CEO of NeXT. Steve could be taken for a tech scientist, having been one of the pioneers of microcomputers.
After suffering from complications arising from a previously treated pancreatic cancer, Jobs died on October 5, 2011 aged 56.
3. Current Relationship
Laurene Powell is reportedly in a romantic relationship with Adrian Fenty, an American politician and former mayor of Washington D.C. The duo met at an education conference as board members of College Track in 2011. They became casual friends after the meeting but started dating in 2013.