Apple Inc. co-founder, previous chairman and CEO, Steve Jobs died yesterday, October 5th 2011, at the age of 56.
A statement by Apple’s board of directors read “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.”
Steve Jobs was born in 1955 to Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian Muslim immigrant to the US, and Joanne Schieble, an American graduate student. Steve was then adopted by an Armenian family of Paul and Clara Jobs and grew up in the apricot orchards, which later became known as Silicon Valley. He lived there with his family until his death. In 1976, Jobs co-founded Apple Computer and, with his childhood friend Steve Wozniak, marketed what was considered the world’s first personal computer, the Apple II. Steve was also believed to be the mastermind behind many of Apple’s innovations like Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod, and many more. Steve also co-founded and was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which created some of the most successful animation films of all time including, but not limited to, Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., and Ratatouille. Pixar merged with The Walt Disney Company in 2006 and Steve served on Disney’s board of directors.
In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with an unusual form of pancreatic cancer although the tumor was removed in July 2004. In 2009 he underwent a liver transplant. Jobs announced his resignation from his role as Apple’s CEO on August 24, 2011 after several years of failing health and as if he knew he was going to die in about 40 days. In his resignation letter, Jobs wrote that he could “no longer meet duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO”. He also strongly recommended that Tim Cook succeeds him as CEO of Apple. On October 5, 2011, Jobs’ family made a statement that he “died peacefully today”. On the same day, Apple’s corporate website greeted visitors with a simple page showing Jobs’s name and lifespan next to his greyscale portrait. Jobs left behind his wife, Laurene, to whom he was married for 20 years, their three children, and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, a child from a previous relationship.
Many statements were released by notable people reacting to Steve’s death. US President, Barack Obama, said, “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.” Bill Gates, chairman and co-founder of Microsoft, expressed his deep condolences and described his 30-year relation with Jobs as being colleagues, competitors and friends. Indian and Australian prime ministers were among the first people to issue statements along with Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company’s CEO and Rupert Murdoch, the founder of News Corporation.