The Apple chairman and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56 years old, reported China’s Xinhua news agency. Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,” Apple said in a statement.
He died just a day after Apple unveiled its latest bauble, the iPhone 4S, at an event that Jobs usually presided over with singular showmanship. It was the first such presentation in years where Jobs did not take the stage in his signature jeans and black turtleneck.
“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,” Apple said in a statement. “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 away as CEO of the company he helped turn into a tech titan in August, citing his failing health. He was replaced by Tim Cook, but continued to serve as the company’s chairman.
Apple’s homepage currently bears an image of the company’s co-founder, top, and advised those wishing to send condolences to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
His former rival, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, paid tribute to Apple’s creative visionary, calling him a colleague, a competitor and a friend.
“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. “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
Apple has also put up the following website in memory. They’re asking for “thoughts, memories, and condolences” to be shared by way of this email address: email@example.com
Jobs announced to his employees in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with a tumor in his pancreas, eventually undergoing a pancreaticoduodenectomy that seemed to have removed the tumor. Health concerns continued to plague him, though; in 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant, and took a medical leave of absence in January to focus on his heath.
In a 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, Jobs spoke movingly of his decision to drop out of college and his 1984 ouster from Apple, before delving into his cancer diagnosis. Although pancreatic cancer has a high mortality rate, Jobs said he took the news in stride.
Jobs is survived by his wife, Laurene Powell, their three children Reed Paul, Erin Sienna and Eve, and a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, from a previous relationship.