Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder, inventor, entrepreneur, visionary and cultural icon, has died aged 56.
His death was announced by Apple in a statement.
“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.”
The Apple website has been updated with this iconic image of jobs and their message.
A further statement from Apple read:
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.
Jobs’ family have also made a statement:
Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.
We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve.
We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.
Apple CEO Tim Cook sent this email to Apple employees.
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
While the cause of his death is unconfirmed, Jobs, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer since 2003 and had a liver transplant in 2009, had been in poor health for some time.
Tributes to Jobs began to surface immediately on the news of his passing, with thousands of sympathetic messages appearing on Twitter from fans, celebrities, politicians and Jobs’ peers in the tech world. The reaction was so large that both Twitter.com and the Twitter API went down for about 30 minutes.
Currently five of Twitter’s top ten global trending topics are related to Jobs.
In a statement, President Barack Obama said:
“Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun.
And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grown-ups alike.
Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: He changed the way each of us sees the world.
The world has lost a visionary. And 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. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife, Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.”
Twitter’s Jack Dorsey had a shorter, although equally powerful message that read simply, “Thank you, Steve.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg paid his respects through his Facebook profile, saying “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.”
Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and longtime rival of Steve Jobs, has also expressed his sadness at Jobs’ death.
“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.”
Tributes have also poured in from other giants in the tech and entertainment world.
“People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he set himself.” ~ Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder
“We’ve lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products. Steve fought a long battle against tough odds in a very brave way. He kept doing amazing things in the face of all that adversity. As someone who has had his own medical challenges, I couldn’t help but be encouraged by how he persevered.” ~ Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder
“He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me.” ~ Larry Page, Google CEO
“I feel honored to have known Steve Jobs. He was the most innovative entrepreneur of our generation. His legacy will live on for the ages.” ~ Steve Case, AOL founder
“Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder.” ~ Michael Dell, Dell CEO/founder
“Thank you Steve. You were a true inspiration in so many parts of my life, both personal and professional. My hat off to our time’s Da Vinci.” ~ Daniel Ek, Spotify founder
“Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined.” ~ Bob Iger, President, Walt Disney Company
“Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips.” ~ Steven Spielberg
Aside from Obama, other political leaders have also expressed their sympathies.
“People like Steve Jobs change our world. My sincere condolences to his loved ones and to everyone who admired his intellect and talent.” ~ Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia (written on Twitter).
“America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come”. ~ Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York
The Google homepage also acknowledges the passing of Jobs.
Fans are also placing cards, flowers, candles and notes on Apple stores around the world, including San Francisco:
Jobs will be remembered for many things, but he was particularly respected for his abilities as a public speaker. Perhaps his most admired speech was his address to Stanford University in 2005.
His influence on the smallest of details throughout Apple, notably in decisions regarding design and the user experience, was legendary. Jobs also shaped Apple’s marketing arm, leading to some truly iconic advertisements.
Jobs was a complicated man with a fierce temper, who by all accounts was prone to fits of rage when he didn’t get what he wanted at Apple, certainly in the early days of the company. But as he matured as a CEO and settled into family life at home he began to reveal a sense of humour that underpinned many of his public appearances. One highlight was this prank he pulled on Starbucks during his demo of the first iPhone back in 2007.
And these photos of Jobs testing Apple’s Photo Booth software back in 2005 show a side of the man that was rarely seen.
I, too, was a huge admirer of Steve Jobs and also a great fan of Apple. After being a diehard Windows user for many years, I came to Apple relatively late, but (like many) once I made the change I never looked back. I’m writing this article (an experience I have found quite moving) on a Macbook Pro. I own an iPad 2 and an iPhone (3GS). I will be one of the first in line to get an iPhone 4S. At this moment in time I can’t see myself ever moving away from Apple products. We still have a few Windows laptops in our home, but slowly but surely my wife is coming around. If that makes me a fanboy, then so be it. I can think of worse things.
It’s entirely fitting that many of the tributes to Steve Jobs that you have read above, and throughout Twitter and Facebook, have been written and published using Apple products. I can’t think of a better way to underline the man’s legacy.
RIP, Steve. You will be missed.