Steve Jobs Is Dead At 56
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. and technology visionary, has died of complications from pancreatic cancer. The news was announced in a press release from Apple.
Apple posted this message on their homepage:
Jobs was born in San Francisco, and grew up in what is now Silicon Valley, working at Hewlett-Packard for a summer. As a young man, he dropped out of college, and explored Buddhism and LSD in India. He founded Apple with Steve Wozniak and several others in the 1970s; they introduced one of the first commercially successful personal computers in 1977 with the Apple II.
Jobs fell out with the Apple leadership in the 1980s and left the company. He bought a small computer animation studio from George Lucas. After struggling for years, that studio, Pixar, released Toy Story in 1995, revolutionizing animation and movie making.
Jobs returned to Apple in the late 90s, officially becoming CEO in 2000. Towards the end of the decade, Apple introduced the iPod, iPhone, and iPad in rapid succession, soon becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world.
Jobs’ professional triumphs overshadowed a sometimes troubled personal life and divisive management style. Jobs had messy romantic and familial relationships. Unlike his rival and competitor, Bill Gates, he was not known for his charitable donations. Many felt his genius was matched by his ego, and his erratic management and harsh criticisms earned him fierce loyalty and fearful resentment.
Jobs was not a technical, programming genius in the computing world, nor was he a business executive in the traditional mold. He once said his job was to take a good idea and “get people talking about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know…just explore things.”
Jobs announced his cancer diagnosis in 2004, and had taken several medical leaves of absence from Apple. Just over a month ago, he announced he was officially stepping down as CEO, as he could no longer meet his “duties and expectations” to the company. He is survived by his wife of ten years, Laurene, and four children.
Tributes have poured in from all over the Internet and world.
“Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you,” said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Although they had been bitter competitors for many years, Bill Gates paid tribute to his fallen colleague: ”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.”
Jobs might have gotten a bittersweet joy from the fact that, as President Obama noted, much of the world learned of his death “on a device he invented.” And perhaps this will be the greatest tribute of all—not the praise of important men, but the millions of people expressing themselves on devices that Steve Jobs pushed to be more intuitive, more advanced, more a part of us.
Fittingly, many of those devices and designs that buzz constantly in productivity and world-exploring activity paused for a moment last night, to send, post, tweet, or upload a simple message: “RIP Steve Jobs. Thank you.”