Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs Passes Away at 56 [Updated]

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Apple announced on Wednesday that company co-founder Steve Jobs passed away at the age of 56. Mr. Jobs was a driving force in the revitalizing the company during the 1990’s, and was instrumental in changing the computer and entertainment industries.

Apple updated its Web site Wednesday evening with a tribute to Mr. Jobs stating:

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.

Mr. Jobs helped found Apple in 1976 along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. Together they changed the PC industry with the Apple I which was sold as a kit computer, and then with the Apple II as the first mainstream PC. The Apple II series sold for over 10 years and proved popular with home users, schools and businesses.

Steve Jobs passes away at 56Building on the success of the Apple II line, Mr. Jobs assembled a team that started work on what would eventually become the Macintosh. The Mac evolved over the years to include a long line of desktop computers, laptop computers, and the iconic iMac. The company still sells the iMac, and is seeing success with its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptop lineup.

Mr. Jobs was also part of the team that gave consumers the iPod, which ultimately changed the face of the music industry. The success of the iPod also included the iTunes Music Store — now the iTunes Store — and easy to purchase songs, TV shows and movies.

Following the success of the iPod, Mr. Jobs helped guide Apple to the successful launch of the iPhone and iPod touch. The iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market by offering customers an easy to use interface in a stylish form factor that other smartphone makers have been working to copy.

The success of the iPhone progressed to the introduction of the iPad, yet again changing how consumers and electronics manufacturers looked at tablet computers.

Mr. Jobs’s success at Apple, however, wasn’t always assured. He was run out of the company he helped bring to life in 1985 following internal company turmoil, leaving John Scully as CEO. During Mr. Scully’s tenure, Apple’s seemed to lose its focus, but continued to be popular with devout Mac fans.

After leaving Apple, Mr. Jobs founded NeXT Computer, and began selling high-end workstations and a custom operating system based on UNIX. That OS eventually led to Apple buying NeXT and bringing Mr. Job’s back into the fold in 1997. NeXT transformed into Mac OS X and became the foundation for the future of the Mac.

Mr. Jobs also purchased the movie production company Pixar from George Lucas during his time away from Apple. He transformed the company into a computer-generated movie powerhouse that produced popular movies such as Toy Story, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo.

Disney bought Pixar in 2006, and added Mr. Jobs to its Board of Directors where he was also the single largest shareholder.

Mr. Jobs recently retired as company CEO and took on the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors. He had been on an extended leave of absence because of poor health.

Mr. Jobs was seen as a visionary in the technology world and will be greatly missed.

[This article has been updated with additional details about Mr. Jobs’s life.]

Comments

JKP

Very sad news. :(

Jamie

Absolutely. Shutting my iPhone and Mac down for a moment of silence. Greatly missed is an understatement.

Dave Hamilton

Sad, indeed. So sorry to hear this. 56 is too young for anyone to go. My thoughts are with his family, from whom he was taken far too soon.

MacFrogger

What a guy!  Perfect?  Hardly. 

But an extraordinary human being, one of the rarest amongst us who with his skill, drive, talent, and creativity actually managed to change the world…

PrlJns

Very sad news.  He directly affected my computer love in so many ways!

Lee Dronick

I am saddened.

Oh God, the image on Apple’s home page.

geoduck

So sorry to hear this. Condolences to his family and friends. Oh god it’s like we were all his family and friends.

Terrible, terrible news.

There are few people of whom it can be said that they changed the world for the better. Steve Jobs was one that did.

Terrin

At least we know why the keynote was so bad yesterday. Imagine having to give that presentation knowing the person who made it all possible was dying. The world will never be the same. Rest in peace Steve.

Xwintelslave

Can’t say that I didn’t see this coming.  I remember saying back in August that his resignation as CEO was “ominous,” or something to that effect.  It seemed to me that, loving Apple as much as he did, he would never resign unless there wasn’t much time left.  I also had a sense of dread, at the risk of being overdramatic, that Steve’s exit was the latest example of effective, principled US leadership (corporate or otherwise) evaporating into thin air.

Sad at his passing, sad that I never felt I had anything important enough to email him about, that I never expressed how grateful I was for Apple and how inspirational Steve was.  Imagine a CEO answering email from ordinary customers! That was one of the highlights of scanning the Macobserver queue, before Steve resigned: reading about his one-word responses on Apple-related issues of the day. How extraordinary it is that the CEO of a major US multinational (if not THE major US multinational) could make you feel such a personal connection.  I can’t think of a CEO other than Steve Jobs who accomplished that.

Life continues, as yesterday’s iPhone 4S announcement made clear.  Hopefully the community of Apple followers/admirers/customers won’t sell Steve’s successors short, which would be an insult to his memory. Apple’s in its prime and has many game-changing (and life-enhancing) years ahead of it.

redptc

I never met the man but I feel like I’ve lost my very best friend.  Thanks, Steve, for making this world a better place.

kevinlane

Steve died way too soon, of course.  But my mind reels at the thought of how much he accomplished in such a short time.  He lived only 56 years, but he really lived those 56 years.  Such is the way of vision, dedication, and focus.

A very sad evening.

Lancashire-Witch

Not unexpected; but still a huge, huge shock. Steve Jobs was a true visionary. My heartfelt condolences to everyone - family, friends, Apple people. everyone -  who knew him.

Some of us knew him only through Apple and the pleasure it gave us to use the products.

geoduck

Found this on Electronista:
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also offered his sympathy to the family in a tribute to Jobs.

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.

MacFrogger

So Bill said:

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it?s been an insanely great honor.

What a wonderful tribute in the form of his reference to Steve’s desire to make “insanely great” products.  Bill does have a certain amount of class, even if Ballmer does not…

mrmwebmax

+

I send this to all of the columnists who, upon Mr. Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO in August, took it upon themselves to question his “lack of charity.” You know who you are, and you are many.

I may be an atheist, but The Bible offers many lessons that are, IMHO, worth believing in. One of my favorites is, to paraphrase: If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

As a high school student in 1983, I didn’t know how to fish. Torn between creative writing, graphic design, and computer programming, I ended up going though my undergraduate college career careening from major to major: electrical computer engineering, computer science, English.

In 1988, my late father needed a brochure for his business. I said I could create one, based on what I had seen Macintosh computers doing at Pittsburgh-based Kinko Copies stores. One brochure and nine department divisions later, my career was born.

Now I make my living as a design and website professional, doing what didn’t even exist in 1984. But the Mac started it all. And for that, tonight, I give thanks to Steve Jobs. Thank you for merging the technical and the artistic, and for bridging the gap through which I’d always fallen. Thank you for creating so many industries in which I now call home. Thank you for…for teaching me how to fish. For giving me a lifelong livelihood, rather than a measly days’s handout.

Those who have spoken against you…may they be so generous to anyone, as you have been so to me, simply in your pursuit of excellence.

nealg

I never met the man but I feel like I?ve lost my very best friend.? Thanks, Steve, for making this world a better place.

Exactly the way I feel.

FlipFriddle

mrm, I’m with you in thanking Steve for “merging the technical and the artistic,” and for sweating the details, and having the drive to do the hard work to make something so complicated, so simple. My condolences to his family and friends, including the worldwide Mac family that Steve and Apple created. I bow my iMac monitor in your honor.

cb50dc

I’ve just learned this, at about 9:35 pm EDT. We have less magic in the world.

I’m sad.

Peace and comfort to the family.

skipaq

It is a sad day for an entire family of people who “think different.” I am ever thankful that Apple Computer brought back the one man who could make the company great again.

My deepest sympathy for Steve’s immediate family.

akcarver

Those who have spoken against you?may they be so generous to anyone, as you have been so to me, simply in your pursuit of excellence.

I have to agree with this. I haven’t felt this badly since the death of iBrotha.

mhikl

My mum?s a nurse and always says, ?Where there is life their is hope?. It is a sense I hold very dear and through Steve?s illness this has been my hope and belief. I thought when he stepped down, he was taking his leave so he could have some years with his family. He had done enough. I knew there was this other possibility, but dwelling on such serves no purpose.

Last night on Charlie Rose a chap said Steve had a brilliant business mind and every time he heard Steve speak he felt inspired. Steve had an artist?s spirit and a sense of prescience to how the world could be a better place where quality and functionality could be merged with ease-of-use. So brilliant were his strategies, countless designs quickly became like uh-huh moments, the ease of which seemed so obvious yet so cleverly original that the usual seem as quotidian shadows in time.

When a great person dies, a true renaissance man, the world stands in awe to wonder what we have lost. Alive in the time of such a person is an honour, even if we have not been blessed to have met him, even if we can?t fully comprehend the history he unfolded. He stands amongst the titans of great creative builders who changed the world not through the force of war or the compromise of politics, but by the determined path only the great artist and seer can forge.

I know in my heart these paths Mr Jobs leaves behind shall continue.

Bryan Chaffin

There are a lot of great comments here. I love the community that was built around Steve’s company and products, especially those that call TMO their home.

I have to agree with this. I haven?t felt this badly since the death of iBrotha.

I miss Rodney, too, akcarver.

MacFrogger

iMourn.  And iWill for days…

wab95

The news media, the world-over, tech giants, leaders and presidents have paused, momentarily, to focus on this one story, the passing of Steve Jobs and pay tribute to his life’s work, and stacking him alongside revolutionary industrial geniuses. This is but one measure of his footprint.

No better final words to mark his passing can be found, perhaps, than his speech to Stanford’s 2005 graduating class.

Here’s to changing the world.

redptc

I was digging through my archives and came across some Steve Jobs quotes that I thought I’d share…


1.    ?The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.? Apple Confidential: The Real Story of Apple Computer
2.    ?For something this complicated, it?s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don?t know what they want until you show it to them.? Bloomberg Businessweek
3.    Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn?t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That?s because they were able to connect experiences they?ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they?ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.Wired
4.    ?That?s been one of my mantras ? focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it?s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.?BusinessWeek
5.    ?Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It?s not about money. It?s about the people you have, how you?re led, and how much you get it.?CNNMoney
6.    ?When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.? Newsweek
7.    ?We made the buttons on the screen look so good you?ll want to lick them.? Fortune
8.    ?Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn?t matter to me ? Going to bed at night saying we?ve done something wonderful? that?s what matters to me.? Wall Street Journal
9.    ?You?re missing it. This is not a one-man show. What?s reinvigorating this company is two things: One, there?s a lot of really talented people in this company who listened to the world tell them they were losers for a couple of years, and some of them were on the verge of starting to believe it themselves. But they?re not losers. What they didn?t have was a good set of coaches, a good plan. A good senior management team. But they have that now.?Businessweek
10.  The system is that there is no system. That doesn?t mean we don?t have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that?s not what it?s about. Process makes you more efficient ? But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we?ve been thinking about a problem. It?s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.?  Businessweek

gslusher

Oh God, the image on Apple?s home page.

I dragged the image to a folder. The filename says it all:

t_hero.png

Ross Edwards

Leonardo da Vinci.

Thomas Edison.

Dieter Rams.

Steve Jobs.

An unknown child in some remote haven, tapping away at an iPad 2, eyes wide at the wonders this world has to offer, as inspiration sparks.  May the road rise up to meet him… or her.

aardman

I never met the man.  And of course he didn’t know me from Adam.  But I feel a great sadness.  If you have but a drop of passion and romance in your blood you can’t help but root for this man and the life that he led.

An unwanted baby, adopted and raised by loving, working class parents, builds a company out of his dad’s garage, is unceremoniously tossed out of his company, then returns twelve years later to pull the company that spurned him from near death and rebuilds it into the greatest, most imaginative, most respected company on earth.

How can you not feel sad that his life story has to end at least two decades too soon?

Dewi Deliana Wijaya

Thanks have shared Your great vision through amazing hi-tech products, those have bring positive changing to this world.

sue_5801

Very bad news for this years.
=(

Hermboy

Such sad news, I am genuinely shocked & saddened by the news.
He changed my life with his products ?

DrDL

It has been my privilege to use Apple computers since 1990, to have lived during these years of transformation of the computer into the mac and ipad we see today. I doubt any other individual will ever have such a profound and enduring effect on the way we all live our lives. I am both saddened by his passing but so very grateful for having lived through this time, his too short a life.

amergin

I think it was 1987 when I met Steve - I was visiting Apple in Cupertino after hours to discuss a presentation application I had developed and was looking for a publisher in the States. The office was quiet and I was meeting with a couple of senior managers when Steve appeared at the door of the boardroom and asked if he could come in. It transpired that even though he had been ‘dropped’ from the board, Steve was often dropping in outside hours to talk with his friends about how things were going at the company. He didn’t stay long, chatted a bit about what I was developing and urging me to push the limits. The party line is that he was fired in 1985 but he was still there in 1987 and when I dropped out of the Apple world for a while in 1990 I imagine he was still there. Himself and Steve Wozniak were Apple and always will be Apple. There are many like me who were touched in our lives many years ago and who are still living the Apple way. God be with you Steve.

Lee Dronick

An unknown child in some remote haven, tapping away at an iPad 2, eyes wide at the wonders this world has to offer, as inspiration sparks.? May the road rise up to meet him? or her.

Yes, the torch has been passed
To whom we do not yet know
There has always been giants among us
Leaving footsteps in which we follow.

Brutno

Command + Option + Eject peacefully, Steve.

CityGuide

I don’t know where to begin to describe my sadness. Apple computers gave me the start to the many jobs I’ve had over the past two decades and the career I have today. They have been sustenance, solace, lifeline and fun. Mostly they have reflected what I want to do with my life; read, write, share pictures and music, and be an automatic programmable ambience to the fabric of my every day. Steve got that from day one and I am in awe that I own a device that can truly do it all - and look good while doing it.

archimedes

Such sad news.

Living in the “Apple era” has been amazing for me. Somehow, unexpectedly, computers became wonderful tools, toys, and almost friends!

Steve Jobs, Apple, and Apple’s human-centered computers, from the Apple ][ to the Macintosh to the iPod/iPhone/iPad, have brought me so much happiness over the years! Many Apple folks and alumni are inspirational to me: Steve Wozniak, Jef Raskin, Alan Kay, Andy Hertzfeld, Jonathan Ive. But I believe it was Steve Jobs who was the necessary ingredient to turn these visionaries into APPLE, to put wonderful devices into the hands of millions, and to change the world.

Where Apple led, the industry followed. Apple has been described as “the R&D department of the computer industry” and this is true not only for PCs, but for phones and tablets as well.

“Think Different.” “Here’s to the Crazy ones.” “A mind forever voyaging.”  Apple’s slogans apply to Steve Jobs as well as his heroes. And to the company he helped to create.

Steve, we are deeply indebted to you. Thank you.

Willam Wonderful WILSON

Yes God makes all things beautiful in His time, untill Gods’ time has come nothing will be beautiful.

Jobs was a great man who showed the way and expressed it in the way He thinks. He was a man with creativity inbedded in him. He was never selfish so he shared his creativity with the world.  Steve, you will be missed in our homes and will will forever remember you were on earth making life more easier and better with technology for us.
Yes we all love you and will continue to show our love even when we meet again on the other side. we all love you so much.
Steve may your soul R.I.P, Jobs R.I.P

bye for now

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