I was working out, listening to my iPod when it happened. I read the news on my iMac computer, while listening to a podcast on my iTunes. Former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs died today from pancreatic cancer.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the company said in a brief statement. “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.
“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.”
The company is right. You’d be hard pressed to find a tech savvy American whose life hasn’t been touched by Steve Jobs. As a business man and as a man, he was controversial. He was known for being demanding and for his ego. He was secretive about his charitable giving. But there’s no denying that he fundamentally changed technology. He and his partner Steve Wozniak were behind the first personal computer. Their company became synonymous with style and quality.
Apple’s iPhone, the newest version of which was released today, changed the mobile phone industry. It became the phone most coveted and the one for other companies to beat. Apple’s computers are known for reliability and security, with a streamlined look and feel. For better or worse, his iPod and iTunes revolutionized the music industry. The iPad gave new meaning to portable computing. The English language even transformed, thanks in a large part to Steve Jobs.
Jobs was active in the Democratic party. He even once considered a run for Governor of California.
Jobs was born in 1955 to a Syrian couple. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. His adoptive father was a lower middle class automotive mechanic. Jobs dropped out of college after a semester.
In addition to being CEO of Apple, he helped found Pixar Entertainment.
Jobs has struggled with his health for a number of years. He officially stepped down as CEO of Apple in August of this year.
He is survived by his wife, Laurene Powell and his three children.
Jobs may be gone, but his footprint will be with us for a very long time.