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

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

US President Barack Obama, who was given an iPad 2 by Jobs in March – before it was released worldwide – remembered Jobs as one of America’s greatest innovators and says the world has lost a visionary.

Obama said in a statement on the White House Website that Jobs was brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

The president also said Jobs exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity.

In a tweet sent separately from his statement, Obama said, in his own words, “There may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this year, Obama said: “I’ve got an iPad. Steve Jobs actually gave it to me a little bit early. It was cool; I got it directly from him.”

Jobs had dinner with Obama and several other leading Silicon Valley CEOs at the home of venture capitalist John Doerr in Woodside, California, last February.

Former Colleagues Pay Tribute

Steve Wozniak (pictured with Jobs) said on August 24 that Jobs was “probably the great technical leader of our lifetime. He always wanted to be an important person in the world and he wanted to do it with a company. And he did it many times over, not just with Apple”.

“Look at the music company [iTunes], and the movie company [Pixar] he started. He wasn’t just Apple. Gosh, at Apple he built products that stand the test of time, like the Mac, the iPod, iPhone, the iPad,” he said.

Michael Gartenberg, IT analyst with Gartner, said: “Here’s a guy who invented the personal computer, redefined it with the Macintosh, took a company on the brink of doom and made it the most valuable company in the world, he redefined the music and cell phone industries. He truly was a visionary for our time.”

Several former Apple executives offered their perspectives on Jobs back in August, when he stepped down as CEO.

“Steve Jobs works on a very different personal operating system than most people,” former Apple marketing director Guy Kawasaki said. “It would be comparable to, say, getting a fish to fly.”

Former PepsiCo CEO John Sculley, the man Jobs hired to replace him as Apple’s CEO and who later helped participate in firing Jobs from the company, once said that he felt himself “vastly unqualified” to run Apple as its CEO, which he did, almost disastrously, from 1983 to 1993.

“But Steve has the amazing knack of saying the exact right thing, at the exact right time, for the right reasons,” Sculley said in a television documentary on Jobs. “He’s very motivational. Back then, I told him I thought I wasn’t the guy to run a technology company, but he looked down at his running shoes, then up at me, and said: ‘Do you want to keep selling sugar water the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?’

“I was working at Apple a few weeks later.”

And Jobs did indeed change the world.