Apple visionary Steve Jobs died on Wednesday at the age of 56. The man who changed the world of computers and spearheaded innovations like the iPhone and iPad was battling pancreatic cancer and only resigned from Apple on Aug. 24.
Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976. And his influence would extend even beyond computers to revolutionizing the worlds of music and movies.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman and CEO of DreamWorks, calls Jobs as "the Thomas Edison of our time. And in the way that Edison affected so many businesses, so did Steve Jobs."
Jobs has been battling cancer for eight years, but the suddenness of his death — coming less than two months after he stepped down — has shocked many.
Jobs has been battling cancer for eight years, but the suddenness of his death — coming less than two months after he stepped down — has shocked many and made the impact even greater. Jobs' story is in many ways an all-American success tale. He dropped out of college, but ended up being regarded as "The Father of the Computer Revolution" by age 29.
But his comeback, returning to save Apple after being forced out of the company and bringing it to its current wow-factor heights may have been an even greater accomplishment.
Jobs was anything but a mild-mannered computer nerd. Even his competitors cited his charisma and he was known for often ignoring the advice of others and following his instincts, building a reputation as being much more of a dictator leader than some new-age consensus builder. Jobs also turned product unveilings into Internet shows, commanding the stage in his distinctive black turtlenecks and jeans.
"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," Apple's board of directors said in a statement. "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."
Soon the tributes would come rolling in at the speed of the technology Jobs helped create.
"I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death," Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said in a statement. "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."