Laurene Powell Jobs, who was married for 20 years to Apple founder Steve Jobs, is said to have bonded with former Washington DC mayor Adrian Fenty over a shared passion for school reform, after they met at an education conference in 2011.
Their friendship developed into a romance shortly after Adrian Fenty announced he was leaving his wife, sources told the Washington Post.
Laurene Powell Jobs and Adrian Fenty’s relationship is not believed to have been behind the breakup of his 15-year marriage.
Steve Jobs’ widow, who has three children, inherited an estate of about $10 billion when her husband died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56 in October 2011.
Despite being one of the richest women in the U.S, Laurene Powell Jobs, 49, has kept a deliberately low profile as she continues with her charitable work.
In a rare interview in April Laurene Powell Jobs, who was spotted still wearing her diamond wedding ring on holiday in Italy last month, said of her husband: “His private legacy with me and the kids is that of husband and father. And we miss him every day.”
As she pushes her charity work, Laurene Powell Jobs has started to increase her public profile.
“She’s been mourning for a year and was grieving for five years before that. Her life was about her family and Steve, but she is now emerging as a potent force on the world stage, and this is only the beginning,” Larry Brilliant, of Skoll Global Threats Fund, told the New York Times earlier this year.
She married Steve Jobs two years after meeting him when he gave a talk to Stanford Business School, where she was a student.
Laurene Powell Jobs’ connection to Adrian Fenty increased after he joined the board of College Track, a non-profit program for students founded by Steve Jobs’ widow, in February last year.
In a statement released at the time she said: “Adrian Fenty is one of our country’s great advocates for education reform. His sense of urgency and record of accomplishment is unparalleled.”
In contrast to the privacy courted by Laurene Powell Jobs, 42-year-old Adrian Fenty has been a public figure since his election as Washington DC mayor in 2006.
Adrian Fenty and his wife Michelle, who have twin sons and a daughter, were often spotted at high profile parties and events in the city.
Since his defeat in 2010 Adrian Fenty has focused on acting as a consultant to education tech companies and his position as special adviser at Andreessen Horowitz, which led to him splitting his time between Washington and Silicon Valley.
Michelle Fenty took a job in Trinidad and Tobago with the Inter-American Development Bank last year, which led to her also splitting her life between two places, according to the Washington Post.
Both Laurene Powell Jobs and Adrian Fenty have declined to comment on speculation about their relationship.