Steve Jobs dies, aged 56

Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56, following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.

Tributes have been pouring in for the Apple co-founder and visionary with President Barack Obama stating that Jobs was the embodiment of the American dream. Having announced his resignation on August 24, 2011, Jobs maintained a presence as chair of the Apple board, however, it appeared to signify the beginning of the end.

Early career

Steven Paul Jobs’ career has seen him take the Apple brand from a small computer firm set up in the late 1970s with co-founder Steve Wozinak, to become the largest publicly traded company in the US, which at one time was the wealthiest business in the world, knocking oil giant Exxon Mobil into second place.

He was one of the pioneers of Silicon Valley and was instrumental in helping cement its reputation as a world leader in software development. However, following professional disagreements with the Apple board, in 1985 Jobs left. His Midas touch wasn’t hidden for long as he soon went on to buy Pixar – makers of box office smashes such as Toy Story, Cars and Finding Nemo.
He returned to Apple 11 years later at a point when its reputation was faltering and it had all but been written off by rivals and the rest, as they say, is history.

Jobs brought us the multi-coloured iMacs and made personal computers into a thing of beauty rather than sheer functionality. He made computing fashionable to technophobes and created a brand that was obtainable, fun, design-savvy and most of all, high performance, ticking the boxes for geeks and fashionistas alike.

The iPod is perhaps one of Job’s most revolutionary creations and it has single-handedly changed the way we consume and store music.

Ill health

Although diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jobs initially hid his illness but as he lost excessive amounts of weight he took at six-month leave of absence during which time he underwent a liver transplant. A second period of absence followed until his resignation in August.

Jobs will be remembered for being a perfectionist and the uncomprimising driving force behind the iPod, iPhone, iTunes and more recently, the iPad. Today, the Apple website carries a picture of Jobs and a statement on behalf of the organisation.

Jobs leaves behind an estimated $8.3bn and is survived by his wife, Laurene, and four children. In a statement his family said Jobs “died peacefully today surrounded by his family … We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief”.

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