Many people know about the computer giant's founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. But there actually was a third founder, Ron Wayne. He left Apple -- and a 10 percent stake -- before the company hit it big, and missed out on a fortune.
This past week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the fourth-generation iPhone. It's just one more achievement for Apple, now the largest tech company in the world, worth well over $220 billion.
The story of Apple's founding is the stuff of legend in Silicon Valley. Two young programmers, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the company out of nothing.
But there was a third founder -- Ron Wayne. On April Fools' Day 1976, he got together with Jobs and Wozniak to write Apple's incorporation document. He typed up the three pages himself, and even designed the company's first logo.
But only 12 days later, Wayne left Apple and a 10 percent stake in the company that today would be worth billions. Wayne now lives in a modest home in Pahrump, Nev., just outside Las Vegas -- and survives, primarily, off his Social Security check and a small business selling vintage coins.
NPR's Guy Raz spoke with Wayne to hear the story of Apple's "lost" third founder, who says he has no regrets.
"Whatever has been, has been," said Wayne. "I learned a long time ago not to 'what if' these things."
After Apple made it big, Jobs offered Wayne employment with the company -- twice. But Wayne refused. "I like to take things from beginning to end," said Wayne. "Where I can wear six or seven hats. I couldn't do that at Apple."
Wayne says he doesn't own any Apple products. But he's content with his life and happy for Jobs. "I've never been rich," Wayne said. "But I've never been hungry, either."
Copyright 2010 National Public Radio.
To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.