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Tech industry icon Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, has died at the age of 56. Jobs battled pancreatic cancer for years, with the illness forcing him to step down as CEO in August.
In his resignation letter Jobs wrote: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”
In a statement confirming Jobs’ passing Apple said:
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.
Apple also published this tribute and encouraged Apple users to share their tributes:
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who’ve been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve lost a dear friend and inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apple’s front page too has become a simple tribute to Jobs, featuring a black and white photo of him, bearing the inscription, “Steve Jobs 1955-2011”.
The Jobs family released the following statement:
Steve died peacefully today 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.
Jobs’ successor Tim Cook led the praise for the tech visionary, releasing a statement, saying:
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.
We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email email@example.com.
No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.
US President Barack Obama paid tribute to Jobs, calling him one of America’s “greatest innovators.”
“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,” Obama said in a written statement.
“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,” he added.
Steve Wozniak, who started Apple in a Silicon Valley garage with Steve Jobs in 1976, said the following:
“We’ve lost something we won’t get back. The way I see it, though, the way people love products [that] he put so much into creating means he brought a lot of life to the world.”
Microsoft boss Bill Gates, along with other titans of the high-tech industry, paid similar tribute.
“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,” Gates said in a statement.
Google’s CEO and co-founder, Larry Page, posted a tribute to Jobs on his Google+ page:
“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.”
“His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google’s are with his family and the whole Apple family.”
The online search engine giant embedded a button on its page with a link directly to the Apple site in tribute.
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, posted this message on Facebook.
“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.”
Samsung Electronics’ CEO, G.S. Choi also released a statement saying:
“Chairman Steve Jobs introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry and was a great entrepreneur. His innovative spirit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world.”
Flags at Apple’s headquarters in California fly at half mast today. The loss is felt greatly throughout the tech industry.