The new biography from Steve Jobs' daughter offers more proof that Silicon Valley is like a small town

Joi ItoEsther Wojcicki, a journalism teacher at Palo Alto High School, was a mentor to Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.
  • The new biography from Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, illustrates just how closely knit Silicon Valley can be.
  • Brennan-Jobs’ high school mentor was Esther Wojcicki, the mother of YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki.
  • Esther Wojcicki is a longtime and well-respected educator.

The San Francisco Bay Area as a whole may be a huge metropolitan region, but Silicon Valley can often seem like a small town.

“Small Fry,” the new biography by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, illustrates that point.

Brennan-Jobs is the daughter of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. After spending her early years with her mother, artist Chrisann Brennan, Brennan-Jobs went to live with her famous father as a teenager.

While in high school, Brennan-Jobs got into journalism and became the editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper. Her journalism teacher, who was also her mentor, was Esther Wojcicki.

If that last name sounds familiar, it’s because it should. That’s because she’s the mother of Susan and Anne Wojcicki.

Susan Wojcicki, of course, is the CEO of YouTube, and it was in her garage that Larry Page and Sergey Brin first got Google up and running. Anne Wojcicki is the CEO of genomics company 23andMe, and was once married to Brin.

To be sure, Esther Wojcicki is notable in her own right. She’s a well-respected educator who has taught journalism at Palo Alto High School for more than two decades and founded the school’s Media Arts Center.

In an interview with The New York Times, Wojcicki praised her former student’s new book.

“The dialogue that she had in there between her and Steve was just exactly right,” Wojcicki said. “The book is a gift to all of us.”

The photo of Esther Wojcicki is used under a Creative Commons licence.

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