Steven P. Jobs, the charismatic technology pioneer who co-founded Apple Inc. and transformed one industry after another, from computers and smart phones to music and movies, has died. He was 56.
Apple announced the death of Jobs—whose legacy included the Apple II, Macintosh, iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad—on Oct. 5.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” Apple said. “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.”
He had resigned as chief executive of Apple in August, after struggling with illness for nearly a decade, including a bout with pancreatic cancer in 2003 and a liver transplant six years later. At the time Jobs resigned, educators reflected on his ed-tech legacy here.
Few public companies were as entwined with their leaders as Apple was with Jobs, who co-founded the computer maker in his parents’ Silicon Valley garage in 1976, and decades later—in a comeback as stunning as it seemed improbable—plucked it from near-bankruptcy and turned it into the world’s most valuable technology company.
Jobs spoke of his desire to make “a dent in the universe,” bringing a messianic intensity to his message that technology was a tool to improve human life and unleash creativity.
“His ability to always come around and figure out where that next bet should be has been phenomenal,” Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, the high-tech mogul with whom Jobs was most closely compared, said in 2007.
In the annals of modern American entrepreneur-heroes, few careers traced a more mythic sweep. An adopted child in a working-class California home, Jobs dropped out of college and won the title “father of the computer revolution” by the age of 29. But by 30 he had been forced out of the company he had created, a bitter wound he nursed for years as his fortune shrank and he fought to regain his early eminence.
Once out of the wilderness of exile, however, he brought forth a series of innovations—unveiling them with matchless showmanship—that quickly became ubiquitous. He turned the release of a new gadget into a cultural event, with Apple acolytes lining up like pilgrims at Lourdes.
Jobs was born in San Francisco on Feb. 24, 1955, to Joanne Carole Schieble and Syrian immigrant Abdulfattah Jandali, unmarried University of Wisconsin graduate students who put him up for adoption. He was adopted by Paul Jobs, a high school dropout who sold used cars and worked as a machinist, and his wife, Clara.