We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Happened to Apple’s Third Co-Founder?

Margaret Lipman
Published May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Nearly everyone knows that Steve Jobs was a driving force behind the creation of Apple Computer Company (known as Apple Inc. since 2007). The name Steve Wozniak is also well-known among tech history buffs and many laypeople. But what about Ronald Wayne, the third co-founder of what has become one of the world’s most valuable companies?

The original focus of the company, founded on April 1, 1976, was to sell kits for the Apple I personal computer, which had been hand-built by Wozniak. Jobs knew Ronald Wayne from their days working for the Atari Corporation and asked him to come on board to help the fledgling company with administration and internal system documentation and to serve as a mediator when Jobs and Wozniak disagreed. In this capacity, he would receive a 10% stake in the company, while Jobs and Wozniak would each have 45%.

Older than Jobs and Wozniak by 20 years and 16 years, respectively, Wayne played an important advisory role in the earliest days of the company. In addition to being the deciding vote when "the two Steves" were deadlocked, he also designed the original Apple logo (an apple falling onto Isaac Newton’s head) and wrote the Apple I operating manual.

However, less than two weeks later, Wayne left the company. Having previously racked up significant debts with a venture to manufacture slot machines, he was reticent to take the risks that his younger business partners felt comfortable pursuing.

Wayne eventually received $800 for his stake. His departure meant that he had no claim to Apple stock in subsequent years, a financial decision that he surely tries not to regret, as he would be a multi-billionaire if he still owned 10% of the company’s stock.

The forgotten Apple co-founder:

  • *"What can I say? You make a decision based on your understanding of the circumstances, and you live with it,” Wayne told CNN in 2010 with remarkable equanimity (and, interestingly, while playing video poker at the Nugget Hotel & Casino in Pahrump, Nevada).

  • *In the same interview, Wayne admitted that he has never owned an Apple product, using a Dell with Microsoft Windows as his personal computer.

  • *After leaving Apple, Wayne continued to work in the electronics industry before shifting his focus to trading rare coins and stamps. He celebrated his 90th birthday today (May 17, 2024).

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
Discussion Comments
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.