Tim Cook’s youth in South Alabama profiled by local paper


Tim Cook posing for the year book in 11th grade (via AL.com)

In what is a rather interesting profile published on AL.com, Michael Finch II has uncovered some fascinating details about Tim Cook’s early life growing up in Robertsdale, Alabama.

“When it comes to Tim Cook, Robertsdale wraps him in a protective hug and keeps strangers with their curious questions at arm’s length,” Finch writes noting that Cook flew back to his hometown last Christmas through the airport in Pensacola, Florida, about an hour southeast.

The profile goes on to describe the pride Robertsdale feels for Cook’s accomplishments now and what they saw in Cook during his youth

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

Finch spoke with Cook’s mother, Geraldine, who said the family chose Robertsdale, Alabama, so Tim Cook and his brothers could attend the same school; Pensacola and Mobile didn’t offer this option at the time.

Even during his high school days, the Apple CEO operated with ambition:

The Robertsdale school yearbook staff started its tasks very early, in the summer months. In his senior year, Cook was the staff’s business manager, keeping the books and reeling in the ads. He was, said Davis, “the kind of person you need” for such a job.

According to Finch, Cook’s mother said he aimed to go to college at Auburn University since he was in 7th grade. Tim Cook later graduated from Auburn University and returned to give the commencement speech to the graduating class of 2010:

In December, Cook was awarded Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences Lifetime Achievement award where he spoke about his pride in the university and the fight for equality.

Back in his hometown of Robertsdale, city officials expressed their pride to Cook’s accomplishments:

“It just showed the human side of Tim Cook that I think so many folks wanted to know about,” said B.T. Roberts, of Mobile, who attended the event and serves on the university’s board of trustees. “I thought it was very well received.”

And on the same gala evening, officials back in little Robertsdale arranged for Cook to receive a proclamation naming Dec. 10 “Mr. Timothy D. Cook Day” in the town.

Included in the profile are details, too, of Cook’s family including his mother and father and two brothers.

While the profile doesn’t reveal nearly as much as what we know about Steve Jobs today, it’s a very interesting read at how Robertsdale considers the Apple CEO:

“He is the pride and joy of our town,” said Susie Kendrick Vivar, a former classmate who still makes her home in Robertsdale. “We’re all very proud to say that he lived here.”

Check out the full article on AL.com.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. rlowhit - 9 years ago

    Polar opposite in terms of personality compared to Job’s pictures of his youth.

    • Samantha Anastasiou - 9 years ago

      not really. he has long hair and is funky! And, this is Alabama…~! in the 70’s lots of people had long hair it was common.

      • rlowhit - 9 years ago

        Yes the look for the time period is the same, I was referring to Cook seeming content with life and jovial. Whereas Job’s always looked like he was brooding.

    • Samantha Anastasiou - 9 years ago

      also, people are always comparing him to Jobs, what a drag that must be. there will never be another Steve Jobs, but, then again, there will never be another Tim Cook either. Everyone is unique. If you listen to both of their speeches, they hit on exactly that aspect and what we can do to contribute with what we have…

  2. looks a lot like Zuckerberg. Like a brother.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.