Chris Espiona Joined Apple At 14, Became Its Longest-Serving Employee

Chris Espinosa, Apple's longest-serving employee, began working at the company at 14 while still in high school.

Chris Espiona Joined Apple At 14, Became Its Longest-Serving Employee

Chris Espinosa started working part-time at Apple in 1976 at the age of just 14.

Chris Espinosa's journey with Apple began when he met Steve Jobs at Paul Terrell's Byte Shop while Jobs was installing an Apple I. Despite warnings from his teachers at Homestead High School, where Jobs and Steve Wozniak also studied, Espinosa became friends with Wozniak and a regular attendee at the Homebrew Computer Club. He became Apple employee number 8 while still in high school, working on programs and public demos for the Apple II.

According to, Espinosa started his freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley in 1978, where he met Andy Hertzfeld and rewrote the Apple II user guide under the direction of Jef Raskin, Apple's publications manager. He returned to Apple full-time as the director of documentation for the Macintosh project, hiring a team to write technical documentation and user manuals.

Following the Macintosh project, Espinosa worked in Apple's Marketing division and on the Kalieda project. He is now the manager of the Components and Scripting department, contributing to the development of Apple's Xcode developer tool.

Espinosa's official start at Apple was on St Patrick's Day in 1977, although he had been working part-time for several months. He was present when Apple was incorporated in January 1977. His initial task was testing the Apple II BASIC operating system, and he even participated in breaking into Steve Jobs' office for various reasons.

When Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985 to found NeXT, Espinosa became the senior employee. Upon Jobs' return in 1997, Espinosa's employment status was backdated to reflect his continuous service. Over his more than 45-year career, Espinosa has witnessed Apple's evolution from the hand-built Apple I to cutting-edge products like the iPhone and iPad. His dedication and contributions have solidified his place as a foundational figure in Apple's history.

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