Steve Jobs Passes Away at 56, Leaves The World A Little Less “Insanely Great”

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Technology design genius Steve Jobs passed away this Wednesday as an inevitable result of his fight with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He had only reached the age of 56, having been born in 1955. Through his creative thinking, he managed to revolutionize the technology industry. His inventions didn’t merely improve existing technology, but drastically changed it. He left behind brilliant new ideas and designs that will be a part of human culture for many generations to come.

His passing was announced on October 5, 2011 by Apple’s Board of Directors, having nothing more to say than “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.”

Additionally, the front page of has been changed to commemorate the life of Jobs. It appropriately links to Jobs’ new page, in which a single quote on Jobs’ death resides:

Jobs had been battling pancreatic cancer since 2004. After announcing his diagnosis to his employees, he got treatment for his cancer and appeared to be well again. During his leave, sales and operation leader Tim Cook stood in for Jobs. When Jobs delivered his keynote at the WWDC’s of 2006 and 2008, he appeared in bad health.  Later that year, when the internet and the media were buzzing with speculation regarding Jobs’ health, he presented a slide stating “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” In quoting Mark Twain at the Let’s Rock keynote, he responded somewhat positively about his health.

Steve made his last public appearance in front of Cupertino City Council back in June, where he pitched the construction plans of a new space ship like campus for Apple. He appears in fair health, and he leaves us in amazement. Amazement at a wonderful man that knew that he was probably living the last year of his life, yet was still greatly involved in planning for the future of Apple.

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Several months ago, in late August, Jobs resigned as the CEO of Apple because he thought his health had worsened to the point where he could no longer perform his duties as the leader of Apple.

Let’s take a moment to look back at the incredible life and career of Steven Paul Jobs.

  • In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer after having great success building Apples in Jobs’ garage.
  • In 1984, Jobs presented the Macintosh 128k personal computer. The famous Apple Macintosh “1984” commercial plays during the Super Bowl XVIII.
  • In 1985, Jobs was forced to resign from his position at Apple due to conflict with other executives.
  • Following his resignation, he started NeXT Software.
  • In 1986, Jobs bought Pixar Animation Studios.
  • In 1995 “Toy Story” was released by Pixar and Disney. It was a huge success and it made Jobs a billionaire.
  • In 1996, Jobs sold NeXT to Apple for more than $400 million. He was rehired by Apple.
  • In 1997, Jobs became the interim CEO of Apple.
  • In 1998, the iMac is released. It became the fastest-selling PC in history.
  • In 2000, Jobs became the permanent CEO of Apple and he introduced Mac OS X.
  • In 2001, Apple Launched an Apple Store as well as Apple’s first line of iPods. The iPod quickly revolutionized the music industry.
  • In 2003, Apple launched the iTunes Music Store.
  • In 2004, Jobs underwent surgery for his pancreatic cancer.
  • In 2006, Jobs sold Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion.
  • In 2007, Apple released the first generation of iPhones. The iPhone quickly revolutionized the cellphone industry.
  • In 2010, Apple released the iPad. It was the device that young Jobs dreamed would be the ideal personal computer of the future.
  • In late 2011, Jobs resigned.

One of Jobs’ most famous and inspiring speeches was given at a Stanford commencement address. In it, he shared the most pivotal points in his life and important lessons that he learned along the way.

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Many important persons and famous technology leaders had things they wanted to say about Jobs’ passing.

“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. ” Said Bill Gates.

President Barack Obama had a little bit more to say, going so far as to analyze Jobs’ effect on the world. “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 grownups 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.”

“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.” Said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc., also expressed his feelings. “He’s clearly the most effective and successful American CEO in the last 50 years. He didn’t just found Apple, and he didn’t actually just make it successful in the first decade, he also took it after a bad period, and rebuilt it. Which has essentially never been done in an American corporations, to be the extraordinary company it is today. To me, Steve proves that nerds don’t win. Artists do. And that Steve who is both a technologist, but really an artist, shows that art matters and the rest of us missed the fact that beautiful simple products are what people want.”

“[Jobs is] a personal friend and I served on his board for three years. And in his case, working with his, they just adore working for him, and although he’s famously loud and precise and so forth, they respect him so much. I think in many ways, Steve is who he is because he’s just so smart. And that when you have someone who is just that brilliant and is able to integrate those ways in ways that almost no one else in the world can, he gets the extra bit of respect that allows him to be a great leader.”

Jobs’ family released a statement on Wednesday saying “Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.”

Jobs’ life and work means a lot of things to a lot of people, but I think we can all agree that  he positively affected the life of every one of us through his life-changing, enjoyable, and educational gadgets and devices. He has changed the way we interact with the world around us, the way we live our lives, and the way we express and share our emotions. Additionally, he reminds us that anyone can accomplish great dreams such as his by living each day doing their greatest work, and that they must not settle for doing work that is less than enjoyable.

Here’s to a life well lived. Here’s to Steve Jobs.

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