Steve Jobs, IT’s Great Innovator, Dies At 56

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Apple’s co-founder, innovator and entrepreneur dies after a long struggle with cancer

Apple co-founder and two-time CEO Steve Jobs, recognised around the world as one of the most successful innovators in the history of American business, died 5 October after an eight-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

Jobs passed away less than 24 hours after the announcement of yet another great Apple product, the iPhone 4S.

Global Impact

Jobs and business partner Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple in 1977 and in the span of one generation changed the way the world processes personal information. He was a famous micro-manager with big ideas that resonated around the world.

Jobs was involved in every aspect of Apple’s products, from early development to finishing touches. His personality permeated every part of Apple.

In an effective homage to Jobs’ ability and dedication, Apple was recently recognised as the most valuable IT company and the second most valuable company in the world at $351 billion (£228bn), ranking over GE, Microsoft, IBM and Hewlett-Packard and narrowly trailing only Exxon Mobile.

Jobs, who had been in failing health since being diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and undergoing a liver transplant in 2009, stepped down as CEO on August 24. COO Tim Cook took his place as CEO.

In a move that truly is a sign of the on-demand times, within minutes of Jobs’ death Wikipedia had updated its Steve Jobs page.

A statement was issued by Apple’s board of directors late yesterday afternoon:

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

“His greatest love was for his wife Laurene and his family. Our hearts go out to them, and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.”

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman and CEO of DreamWorks, described Jobs as “the Thomas Edison of our time. And in the way that Edison affected so many businesses, so did Steve Jobs”.

“Jobs directly helped change not only the PC business [Macintosh, iPad], but also the music [iPod, iTunes], telephone [iPhone] and movie businesses [Pixar], as well,” he said

In a message to Apple employees, Cook wrote:

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

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email: rememberingsteve@apple.com.

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honour his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.”

Michael Dell sent this message to eWEEK: “Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend, and I lost a friend and fellow founder. The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to the Apple team.”

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