Steve Jobs, the visionary who co-founded Apple Computer in a garage and built it into one of the most influential companies in the world, has died. He was 56 years old.
A statement released Wednesday from Apple's board of directors 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."
Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO on August 24, writing:
"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."
Jobs did not say specifically what was wrong with him, but he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and got a liver transplant in 2009. He took a leave of absence from Apple earlier this year and never returned.
Jobs was forced out of the company he co-founded during a power struggle in 1985. He returned in 1996, during which time he oversaw the production of such iconic products as the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
The Apple homepage on Wednesday featured a picture of Jobs and a clickthrough reads:
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.