Steve Jobs, visionary and co-founder of Apple, dead at 56

Added by on October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs died on October 5 2011

Visionary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died on Wednesday of pancreatic cancer, aged 56.

Apple announced his death with this statement on its web site, “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost and amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple”.

Update: Co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates, a long time rival of Steve Jobs and Apple, said in a statement, “I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”

Emotional reaction on Twitter results in top trending of the topic “RIP Steve Jobs”.

ABC News Katie Couric said in a tweet, “Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. You’ve changed forever the world you leave behind.”

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google said in part, “On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple.”

Larry Page, co-founder of Google said in part “He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it….My thoughts and Google’s are with his family and the whole Apple family.”

[end of update]

In 1976, Jobs along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple; A.C. Markkula Jr later provided funding to the new company. In 1983 Jobs coaxed John Sculley from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple’s CEO. Jobs asked Scully, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”.

Apple introduced the Macintosh computer, the first commercially successful small computer with a graphical user interface that is so commonplace today. Jobs eventually took over the development of the Mac from Jef Raskin.

Jobs was fired by Scully in 1985; Jobs reportedly said, “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

Jobs founded NeXT Computer which was considered to be cost-prohibitive, yet had a strong following based on its technical strengths. The company sold 50,000 systems by 1993 when it transitioned into a fully software development company.

Jobs bought the company that would become known as Pixar and produced Toy Story in 1995, bringing fame and critical acclaim to the company. The company was sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2006 for US$7.4bn and made Jobs the largest single shareholder, holding 7% of the company’s shares.

Jobs returned to Apple in 1996 when Apple bought NeXT computer for US$429m. NeXTSTEP, the operating system behind the NeXT computer, became Mac OS X.

Apple branched out with the iPod, iTunes Store, and mobile phones with the iPhone and, most recently, the iPad.

Jobs was named inventor or co-inventor on 338 US patents or patent applications related to computers, portable devices, and user interfaces, keyboards, and even packages.

Jobs resigned from his role as Apple’s CEO on August 24 2011 stating he could no longer meet his “duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO”.

Steve jobs changed the face of personal and mobile computing – his enduring legacy lives on in the lives of the people that use the products he helped create and bring to market.