Legendary Apple co-founder and technological innovator Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56. He had waged a public battle against pancreatic cancer for the better part of a decade.
Jobs was a visionary who fundamentally changed the way people interact. The iPod, iPad and iPhone are just a couple of his inventions.
The company’s Board of Directors posted a short message online. “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.”
A statement from the Jobs family said tech visionary passed away peacefully, 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.”
Tributes poured in from around the world, including the White House. “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… The world has lost a visionary.”
Microsoft c0-founder Bill Gates offered his condolences to the family and paid tribute to his longtime rival. “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.”
Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page said Jobs’ focus on the user experience influenced him as he launched the world’s greatest search engine. “I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. 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.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote a short statement on his wall. “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.”
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo paid tribute in a tweet. “Once in a rare while, somebody comes along who doesnt just raise the bar, they create an entirely new standard of measurement.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner used Twitter as well. “Steve Jobs changed the world for the better w/ his innovations & genius. R.I.P.”
Here’s a collection of celebrity reaction to the sad news.
Lastly, for those people who have not seen it, here’s Jobs addressing Stanford University in 2005. His speech is moving and well-worth a look.
R.I.P. Steve. You truly changed our world.