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Steve Jobs

Death of Steve Jobs

February 24, 1955 - October 5, 2011
Cupertino, California | Age 56

Founder and former CEO of Apple dies at 56

Obituary

JORDAN ROBERTSON, The Associated Press

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO who invented and masterfully marketed ever-sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology, from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, died Wednesday. He was 56.

Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause. He died peacefully, according to a statement from family members who said they were present.

"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple's board said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve"

Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January — his third since his health problems began — and officially resigned in August. He took another leave of absence in January — his third since his health problems began — before resigning as CEO six weeks ago. Jobs became Apple's chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.

Outside Apple's Cupertino headquarters, three flags — an American flag, a California state flag and an Apple flag — were flying at half-mast late Wednesday.

"Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor." Cook wrote in an email to Apple's employees. "Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."

The news Apple fans and shareholders had been dreading came the day after Apple unveiled its latest version of the iPhone, just one in a procession of devices that shaped technology and society while Jobs was running the company.

Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in 1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most valuable technology company in the world with a market value of $351 billion. Almost all that wealth has been created since Jobs' return.

Cultivating Apple's countercultural sensibility and a minimalist design ethic, Jobs rolled out one sensational product after another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing health.

He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist's obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries.

For transformation of American industry, he has few rivals He has long been linked to his personal computer-age contemporary, Bill Gates, and has drawn comparisons to other creative geniuses such as Walt Disney. Jobs died as Walt Disney Co.'s largest shareholder, a by-product of his decision to sell computer animation studio Pixar in 2006.

Perhaps most influentially, Jobs in 2001 launched the iPod, which offered "1,000 songs in your pocket." Over the next 10 years, its white earphones and thumb-dial control seemed to become more ubiquitous than the wristwatch.

In 2007 came the touch-screen iPhone, joined a year later by Apple's App Store, where developers could sell iPhone "apps" which made the phone a device not just for making calls but also for managing money, editing photos, playing games and social networking. And in 2010, Jobs introduced the iPad, a tablet-sized, all-touch computer that took off even though market analysts said no one really needed one.

By 2011, Apple had become the second-largest company of any kind in the United States by market value. In August, it briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company.

Under Jobs, the company cloaked itself in secrecy to build frenzied anticipation for each of its new products. Jobs himself had a wizardly sense of what his customers wanted, and where demand didn't exist, he leveraged a cult-like following to create it.

When he spoke at Apple presentations, almost always in faded blue jeans, sneakers and a black mock turtleneck, legions of Apple acolytes listened to every word. He often boasted about Apple successes, then coyly added a coda — "One more thing" — before introducing its latest ambitious idea.

In later years, Apple investors also watched these appearances for clues about his health. Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of pancreatic cancer — an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. He underwent surgery and said he had been cured. In 2009, following weight loss he initially attributed to a hormonal imbalance, he abruptly took a six-month leave. During that time, he received a liver transplant that became public two months after it was performed.

He went on another medical leave in January 2011, this time for an unspecified duration. He never went back and resigned as CEO in August, though he stayed on as chairman. Consistent with his penchant for secrecy, he didn't reference his illness in his resignation letter.

Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Simpson gave Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.

Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, Calif., a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA's Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.

Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1972 but dropped out after six months.

"All of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it," he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. "I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out."

When he returned to California in 1974, Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club — a group of computer hobbyists — with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.

Wozniak's homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc. in Jobs' parents' garage in 1976. According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an "apple orchard" that Wozniak said was actually a commune.

Their first creation was the Apple I — essentially, the guts of a computer without a case, keyboard or monitor.

The Apple II, which hit the market in 1977, was their first machine for the masses. It became so popular that Jobs was worth $100 million by age 25.

During a 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Jobs again spotted mass potential in a niche invention: a computer that allowed people to control computers with the click of a mouse, not typed commands. He returned to Apple and ordered the team to copy what he had seen.

It foreshadowed a propensity to take other people's concepts, improve on them and spin them into wildly successful products. Under Jobs, Apple didn't invent computers, digital music players or smartphones — it reinvented them for people who didn't want to learn computer programming or negotiate the technical hassles of keeping their gadgets working.

"We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas," Jobs said in an interview for the 1996 PBS series "Triumph of the Nerds."

The engineers responded with two computers. The pricier Lisa — the same name as his daughter — launched to a cool reception in 1983. The less-expensive Macintosh, named for an employee's favorite apple, exploded onto the scene in 1984.

The Mac was heralded by an epic Super Bowl commercial that referenced George Orwell's "1984" and captured Apple's iconoclastic style. In the ad, expressionless drones marched through dark halls to an auditorium where a Big Brother-like figure lectures on a big screen. A woman in a bright track uniform burst into the hall and launched a hammer into the screen, which exploded, stunning the drones, as a narrator announced the arrival of the Mac.

There were early stumbles at Apple. Jobs clashed with colleagues and even the CEO he had hired away from Pepsi, John Sculley. And after an initial spike, Mac sales slowed, in part because few programs had been written for it.

With Apple's stock price sinking, conflicts between Jobs and Sculley mounted. Sculley won over the board in 1985 and pushed Jobs out of his day-to-day role leading the Macintosh team. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple within months.

"What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating," Jobs said in his Stanford speech. "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."

He got into two other companies: Next, a computer maker, and Pixar, a computer-animation studio that he bought from George Lucas for $10 million.

Pixar, ultimately the more successful venture, seemed at first a bottomless money pit. Then in 1995 came "Toy Story," the first computer-animated full-length feature. Jobs used its success to negotiate a sweeter deal with Disney for Pixar's next two films, "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2." Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Co. for $7.4 billion in stock in a deal that got him a seat on Disney's board and 138 million shares of stock that accounted for most of his fortune. Forbes magazine estimated Jobs was worth $7 billion in a survey last month.

With Next, Jobs came up with a cube-shaped computer. He was said to be obsessive about the tiniest details, insisting on design perfection even for the machine's guts. The machine cost a pricey $6,500 to $10,000, and he never managed to spark much demand for it.

Ultimately, he shifted the focus to software — a move that paid off later when Apple bought Next for its operating system technology, the basis for the software still used in Mac computers.

By 1996, when Apple bought Next, Apple was in dire financial straits. It had lost more than $800 million in a year, dragged its heels in licensing Mac software for other computers and surrendered most of its market share to PCs that ran Windows.

Larry Ellison, Jobs' close friend and fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and the CEO of Oracle Corp., publicly contemplated buying Apple in early 1997 and ousting its leadership. The idea fizzled, but Jobs stepped in as interim chief later that year.

He slashed unprofitable projects, narrowed the company's focus and presided over a new marketing push to set the Mac apart from Windows, starting with a campaign encouraging computer users to "Think different."

Apple's first new product under his direction, the brightly colored, plastic iMac, launched in 1998 and sold about 2 million in its first year. Apple returned to profitability that year. Jobs dropped the "interim" from his title in 2000.

He changed his style, too, said Tim Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for Creative Strategies.

"In the early days, he was in charge of every detail. The only way you could say it is, he was kind of a control freak," he said. In his second stint, "he clearly was much more mellow and more mature."

In the decade that followed, Jobs kept Apple profitable while pushing out an impressive roster of new products.

Apple's popularity exploded in the 2000s. The iPod, smaller and sleeker with each generation, introduced many lifelong Windows users to their first Apple gadget.

The arrival of the iTunes music store in 2003 gave people a convenient way to buy music legally online, song by song. For the music industry, it was a mixed blessing. The industry got a way to reach Internet-savvy people who, in the age of Napster, were growing accustomed to downloading music free. But online sales also hastened the demise of CDs and established Apple as a gatekeeper, resulting in battles between Jobs and music executives over pricing and other issues.

Jobs' command over gadget lovers and pop culture swelled to the point that, on the eve of the iPhone's launch in 2007, faithful followers slept on sidewalks outside posh Apple stores for the chance to buy one. Three years later, at the iPad's debut, the lines snaked around blocks and out through parking lots, even though people had the option to order one in advance.

The decade was not without its glitches. In the mid-2000s, Apple was swept up in a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into stock options backdating, a practice that artificially raised the value of options grants. But Jobs and Apple emerged unscathed after two former executives took the fall and eventually settled with the SEC.

Jobs' personal ethos — a natural food lover who embraced Buddhism and New Age philosophy — was closely linked to the public persona he shaped for Apple. Apple itself became a statement against the commoditization of technology — a cynical view, to be sure, from a company whose computers can cost three or more times as much as those of its rivals.

For technology lovers, buying Apple products has meant gaining entrance to an exclusive club. At the top was a complicated and contradictory figure who was endlessly fascinating — even to his detractors, of which Jobs had many. Jobs was a hero to techno-geeks and a villain to partners he bullied and to workers whose projects he unceremoniously killed or claimed as his own.

Unauthorized biographer Alan Deutschman described him as "deeply moody and maddeningly erratic." In his personal life, Jobs denied for two years that he was the father of Lisa, the baby born to his longtime girlfriend Chrisann Brennan in 1978.

Few seemed immune to Jobs' charisma and will. He could adeptly convince those in his presence of just about anything — even if they disagreed again when he left the room and his magic wore off.

"He always has an aura around his persona," said Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for more than 20 years as a Creative Strategies analyst. "When you talk to him, you know you're really talking to a brilliant mind."

But Bajarin also remembers Jobs lashing out with profanity at an employee who interrupted their meeting. Jobs, the perfectionist, demanded greatness from everyone at Apple.

Jobs valued his privacy, but some details of his romantic and family life have been uncovered. In the early 1980s, Jobs dated the folk singer Joan Baez, according to Deutschman.

In 1989, Jobs spoke at Stanford's graduate business school and met his wife, Laurene Powell, who was then a student. When she became pregnant, Jobs at first refused to marry her. It was a near-repeat of what had happened more than a decade earlier with then-girlfriend Brennan, Deutschman said, but eventually Jobs relented.

Jobs started looking for his biological family in his teens, according to an interview he gave to The New York Times in 1997. He found his biological sister when he was 27. They became friends, and through her Jobs met his biological mother. Few details of those relationships have been made public.

But the extent of Apple secrecy didn't become clear until Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagonosed with — and "cured" of — a rare form of operable pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The company had sat on the news of his diagnosis for nine months while Jobs tried trumping the disease with a special diet, Fortune magazine reported in 2008.

In the years after his cancer was revealed, rumors about Jobs' health would spark runs on Apple stock as investors worried the company, with no clear succession plan, would fall apart without him. Apple did little to ease those concerns. It kept the state of Jobs' health a secret for as long as it could, then disclosed vague details when, in early 2009, it became clear he was again ill.

Jobs took a half-year medical leave of absence starting in January 2009, during which he had a liver transplant. Apple did not disclose the procedure at the time; two months later, The Wall Street Journal reported the fact and a doctor at the transplant hospital confirmed it.

In January 2011, Jobs announced another medical leave, his third, with no set duration. He returned to the spotlight briefly in March to personally unveil a second-generation iPad and again in June, when he showed off Apple's iCloud music synching service. At both events, he looked frail in his signature jeans and mock turtleneck.

Less than three months later, Jobs resigned as CEO. In a letter addressed to Apple's board and the "Apple community" Jobs said he "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 2005, following the bout with cancer, Jobs delivered Stanford University's commencement speech.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," he said. "Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."

Jobs is survived by his biological mother, sister Mona Simpson; Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter with Brennan; wife Laurene, and their three children, Erin, Reed and Eve.

______________________________

The Associated Press

Celebrities took to Twitter — many on Apple devices — to share their thoughts about Steve Jobs' death Wednesday. A sampling of posts:

"Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us. (hash)ThankYouSteve" — Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"My heart weeps for all who worked with Steve and who loved him, especially my friend Laurene and their children." — Maria Shriver.

"We will miss you, Steve Jobs. Sent lovingly from my iPhone." — Jane Lynch.

"For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely." — Bill Gates.

"Had the pleasure of working for him and knowing him. He was our Edison. R.I.P. Steve Jobs." — actor-writer-director Albert Brooks.

"Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs. Kinda can't believe he's gone. Carrying a little part of him in my pocket every day." — actress Martha Plimpton.

"Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. Your genius will live on for generations to come..." — actor Neil Patrick Harris.

"Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. You've changed forever the world you leave behind." — Katie Couric.

"We lost a man of true vision today. Condolences to the whole Apple family." — actor-director Jon Favreau.

"Such a sad day, I can trace my apple memories to the IIC when i was a kid. RIP." — singer Josh Groban.

"You guys I'm sad about Steve Jobs too but SteveJobs2 comes out in like a month." — actor Eli Roth.

"(hash)RIP (hash)SteveJobs, thank you for revolutionizing the way we listen to music. Your vision will not be forgotten." — The Grammys (Recording Academy).

"Damn. RIP STEVE JOBS. Thanx for all the stuff you gave us. Life is Short. Live it up." — rocker Benji Madden.

"So sad to hear about Steve Jobs. He was a genius and one of the most innovative people on earth. He changed the world in so many ways. RIP." — Paris Hilton.

"The world lost a true visionary today. Think different." — Kevin Spacey.

"Thank you, Steve Jobs, for all of the fun and amazing ways you made our lives better....Sent from my iPhone." — Jimmy Fallon.

"My heart goes out for the family of Steve Jobs. What an inspiration he was to us all and a creative visionary for the world! You will be missed." — Eva Longoria.

"We have all surfed on the wake of Steve Jobs ship. Now we must learn to sail, but we will never forget our skipper." — Ashton Kutcher.

"I can't even describe how devastated I am by the news of the great Steve Jobs passing. He was truly one of the most prolific artists and forward thinking people the world has ever known. My prayers and heart goes out to his family and those lucky enough to have known him." — Mila Jovovich.

"Again and again Steve Jobs introduced us to a thing we could not have not imagined. (hash)loss." — Mia Farrow.

"Where is the excitement gonna come from. We won't see another you in this lifetime. Thank you for everything Steve! :o(" — Ricky Martin.

"As word passes thru the crowd of Steve Jobs' passing, it is not lost on anyone that his inventions helped make movements like this possible." — Michael Moore.

"RIP Steve Jobs.....what an innovator. This world will miss him." — LeAnn Rimes.

"100 million iphones don't lie. What an amazing man...HE is the apple of all of our i's. We have an i everything and its all so amazing." — Billy Bush.

"Sad news. RIP Steve Jobs." — Ralph Macchio.

"For all of the human qualities that inspired the virtual. (hash)ripstevejobs." — Sandra Bernhard.

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The Associated Press, The Associated Press

Some key dates from the life and work of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc.:

1955: Stephen Paul Jobs is born on Feb. 24.

1972: Jobs enrolls at Reed College in Portland, Ore., but drops out after a semester.

1974: Jobs works for video game maker Atari and attends meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.

1975: Jobs and Woz attend Homebrew Computer Club meetings.

1976: Apple Computer is formed on April Fool's Day, shortly after Wozniak and Jobs create a new computer circuit board in a Silicon Valley garage. A third co-founder, Ron Wayne, leaves the company after less than two weeks. The Apple I computer goes on sale by the summer for $666.66.

1977: Apple is incorporated by its founders and a group of venture capitalists. It unveils Apple II, the first personal computer to generate color graphics. Revenue reaches $1 million.

1978: Jobs' daughter Lisa is born to girlfriend Chrisann Brennan.

1979: Jobs visits Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, and is inspired by a computer with a graphical user interface.

1980: Apple goes public, raising $110 million in one of the biggest initial public offerings to date.

1982: Annual revenue climbs to $1 billion.

1983: The Lisa computer goes on sale with much fanfare, only to be pulled two years later. Jobs lures John Sculley away from Pepsico Inc. to serve as Apple's CEO.

1984: Iconic "1984" Macintosh commercial directed by Ridley Scott airs during the Super Bowl. The Macintosh computer goes on sale.

1985: Jobs and Sculley clash, leading to Jobs' resignation. Wozniak also resigns from Apple this year.

1986: Jobs starts Next Inc., a new computer company making high-end machines for universities. He also buys Pixar from "Star Wars" creator George Lucas for $10 million.

1989: First NeXT computer goes on sale with a $6,500 price tag.

1991: Apple and IBM Corp. announce an alliance to develop new PC microprocessors and software. Apple unveils portable Macs called PowerBook.

1993: Apple introduces the Newton, a hand-held, pen-based computer. The company reports quarterly loss of $188 million in July. Sculley is replaced as CEO by Apple president Michael Spindler. Apple restructures, and Sculley resigns as chairman. At Next, Jobs decides to focus on software instead of whole computers.

1994: Apple introduces Power Macintosh computers based on the PowerPC chip it developed with IBM and Motorola. Apple decides to license its operating software and allow other companies to "clone" the Mac, adopting the model championed by Microsoft Corp.

1995: The first Mac clones go on sale. Microsoft releases Windows 95, which is easier to use than previous versions and is more like the Mac system. Apple struggles with competition, parts shortages and mistakes predicting customer demand. Pixar's "Toy Story," the first commercial computer-animated feature, hits theaters. Pixar goes to Wall Street with an IPO that raises $140 million.

1996: Apple announces plans to buy Next for $430 million for the operating system Jobs' team developed. Jobs is appointed an adviser to Apple. Gil Amelio replaces Spindler as CEO.

1997: Jobs becomes "interim" CEO after Amelio is pushed out. He foreshadows the marketing hook for a new product line by calling himself "iCEO." Jobs puts an end to Mac clones.

1998: Apple returns to profitability. It shakes up personal computer industry in 1998 with the candy-colored, all-in-one iMac desktop, the original models shaped like a futuristic TV. Apple discontinues the Newton.

2000: Apple removes "interim" label from Jobs' CEO title.

2001: The first iPod goes on sale, as do computers with OS X, the modern Mac operating system based on Next software. Apple also releases iTunes software.

2003: Apple launches the iTunes Music Store with 200,000 songs at 99 cents each, giving people a convenient way to buy music legally online. It sells 1 million songs in the first week.

2004: Jobs undergoes surgery for a rare but curable form of pancreatic cancer. Apple discloses his illness after the fact.

2005: Apple expands the iPod line with the tiny Nano and an iPod that can play video. The company also announces that future Macs will use Intel chips.

2006: Disney buys Pixar for $7.4 billion. Jobs becomes Disney's largest individual shareholder, and much of his wealth is derived from this sale.

2007: Apple releases its first smartphone, the iPhone. Crowds camp overnight at stores to be one of the first to own the new device.

2008: Speculation mounts that Jobs is ill, given weight loss. In September he kicks off an Apple event and says, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated," making a play off a famous Mark Twain quote after Bloomberg News accidentally publishes, then retracts, an obituary that it had prepared in advance.

2009: Jobs explains severe weight loss by saying he has a treatable hormone imbalance and that he will continue to run Apple. Days later he backtracks and announces he will be on medical leave. He returns to work in June. Later it is learned that he received a liver transplant.

2010: Apple sells 15 million of its newest gadget, the iPad, in nine months, giving rise to a new category of modern touch-screen tablet computers.

Jan. 17, 2011: In a memo to Apple employees, Jobs announces a second medical leave with no set duration. Cook again steps in to run day-to-day operations. Jobs retains CEO title and remains involved in major decisions.

Aug. 24, 2011: Apple announces that Jobs is resigning as CEO. Cook takes the CEO title, and Apple names Jobs chairman.

Oct. 5, 2011: Jobs dies at 56. Apple announces his death without giving a specific cause.

______________________________________

The Associated Press, The Associated Press

The family of Apple Inc. co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs issued this statement Wednesday in response to his death:

"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."

_____________________________________

Following the death of Apple Inc. co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs on Wednesday, recently appointed CEO Tim Cook emailed this statement to Apple employees:

Team,

I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

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 rememberingsteve(at)apple.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.

Tim

________________________________________

The Associated Press, The Associated Press

Following the death of Apple Inc. co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs on Wednesday, the board of the iPhone and iPad maker released the following statement:

"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."

________________________________________

Steve Jobs told us what we needed before we knew

JORDAN ROBERTSON, The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Steve Jobs saw the future and led the world to it. He moved technology from garages to pockets, took entertainment from discs to bytes and turned gadgets into extensions of the people who use them.

Jobs, who founded and ran Apple, told us what we needed before we wanted it.

"To some people, this is like Elvis Presley or John Lennon. It's a change in our times. It's the end of an era," said Scott Robbins, 34, a barber and an Apple fan. "It's like the end of the innovators."

Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause. He died peacefully on Wednesday, according to a statement from family members who were present. He was 56.

"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple's board said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."

President Barack Obama said in a statement that Jobs "exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity."

"Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it," he said.

Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January — his third since his health problems began — and resigned in August. Jobs became Apple's chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.

Outside Apple's Cupertino headquarters, three flags — an American flag, a California state flag and an Apple flag — were flying at half-staff late Wednesday.

"Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor." Cook wrote in an email to Apple's employees. "Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."

The news Apple fans and shareholders had been dreading came the day after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone, a device that got a lukewarm reception. Perhaps, there would have been more excitement had Jobs been well enough to show it off with his trademark theatrics.

Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in 1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most valuable technology company in the world with a market value of $351 billion. Almost all that wealth has been created since Jobs' return.

Cultivating Apple's countercultural sensibility and a minimalist design ethic, Jobs rolled out one sensational product after another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing health.

He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist's obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries.

For transformation of American industry, he has few rivals. He has long been linked to his personal computer-age contemporary, Bill Gates, and has drawn comparisons to other creative geniuses such as Walt Disney. Jobs died as Walt Disney Co.'s largest shareholder, a by-product of his decision to sell computer animation studio Pixar in 2006.

Perhaps most influentially, Jobs in 2001 launched the iPod, which offered "1,000 songs in your pocket." Over the next 10 years, its white earphones and thumb-dial control seemed to become more ubiquitous than the wristwatch.

In 2007 came the touch-screen iPhone, joined a year later by Apple's App Store, where developers could sell iPhone "apps" which made the phone a device not just for making calls but also for managing money, editing photos, playing games and social networking. And in 2010, Jobs introduced the iPad, a tablet-sized, all-touch computer that took off even though market analysts said no one really needed one.

By 2011, Apple had become the second-largest company of any kind in the United States by market value. In August, it briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company.

Under Jobs, the company cloaked itself in secrecy to build frenzied anticipation for each of its new products. Jobs himself had a wizardly sense of what his customers wanted, and where demand didn't exist, he leveraged a cult-like following to create it.

When he spoke at Apple presentations, almost always in faded blue jeans, sneakers and a black mock turtleneck, legions of Apple acolytes listened to every word. He often boasted about Apple successes, then coyly added a coda — "one more thing" — before introducing its latest ambitious idea.

In later years, Apple investors also watched these appearances for clues about his health. Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of pancreatic cancer — an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. He underwent surgery and said he had been cured. In 2009, following weight loss he initially attributed to a hormonal imbalance, he abruptly took a six-month leave. During that time, he received a liver transplant that became public two months after it was performed.

He went on another medical leave in January 2011, this time for an unspecified duration. He never went back and resigned as CEO in August, though he stayed on as chairman. Consistent with his penchant for secrecy, he didn't reference his illness in his resignation letter.

Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Simpson gave Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.

Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, California, a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA's Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.

Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1972 but dropped out after six months.

"All of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it," he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. "I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out."

When he returned to California in 1974, Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club — a group of computer hobbyists — with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.

Wozniak's homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc. in Jobs' parents' garage in 1976. According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an "apple orchard" that Wozniak said was actually a commune.

Their first creation was the Apple I — essentially, the guts of a computer without a case, keyboard or monitor.

The Apple II, which hit the market in 1977, was their first machine for the masses. It became so popular that Jobs was worth $100 million by age 25.

During a 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Jobs again spotted mass potential in a niche invention: a computer that allowed people to control computers with the click of a mouse, not typed commands. He returned to Apple and ordered his engineering team to copy what he had seen.

It foreshadowed a propensity to take other people's concepts, improve on them and spin them into wildly successful products. Under Jobs, Apple didn't invent computers, digital music players or smartphones — it reinvented them for people who didn't want to learn computer programming or negotiate the technical hassles of keeping their gadgets working.

"We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas," Jobs said in an interview for the 1996 PBS series "Triumph of the Nerds."

The engineers responded with two computers. The pricier Lisa — the same name as his daughter — launched to a cool reception in 1983. The less-expensive Macintosh, named for an employee's favorite apple, exploded onto the scene in 1984.

The Mac was heralded by an epic Super Bowl commercial that referenced George Orwell's "1984" and captured Apple's iconoclastic style. In the ad, expressionless drones marched through dark halls to an auditorium where a Big Brother-like figure lectures on a big screen. A woman in a bright track uniform burst into the hall and launched a hammer into the screen, which exploded, stunning the drones, as a narrator announced the arrival of the Mac.

There were early stumbles at Apple. Jobs clashed with colleagues and even the CEO he had hired away from Pepsi, John Sculley. And after an initial spike, Mac sales slowed, in part because few programs had been written for it.

With Apple's stock price sinking, conflicts between Jobs and Sculley mounted. Sculley won over the board in 1985 and pushed Jobs out of his day-to-day role leading the Macintosh team. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple within months.

"What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating," Jobs said in his Stanford speech. "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."

He got into two other companies: Next, a computer maker, and Pixar, a computer-animation studio that he bought from George Lucas for $10 million.

Pixar, ultimately the more successful venture, seemed at first a bottomless money pit. Then in 1995 came "Toy Story," the first computer-animated full-length feature. Jobs used its success to negotiate a sweeter deal with Disney for Pixar's next two films, "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2." Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Co. for $7.4 billion in stock in a deal that got him a seat on Disney's board and 138 million shares of stock that accounted for most of his fortune. Forbes magazine estimated Jobs was worth $7 billion in a survey last month.

With Next, Jobs came up with a cube-shaped computer. He was said to be obsessive about the tiniest details, insisting on design perfection even for the machine's guts. The machine cost a pricey $6,500 to $10,000, and he never managed to spark much demand for it.

Ultimately, he shifted the focus to software — a move that paid off later when Apple bought Next for its operating system technology, the basis for the software still used in Mac computers.

By 1996, when Apple bought Next, Apple was in dire financial straits. It had lost more than $800 million in a year, dragged its heels in licensing Mac software for other computers and surrendered most of its market share to PCs that ran Windows.

Larry Ellison, Jobs' close friend and fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and the CEO of Oracle Corp., publicly contemplated buying Apple in early 1997 and ousting its leadership. The idea fizzled, but Jobs stepped in as interim chief later that year.

He slashed unprofitable projects, narrowed the company's focus and presided over a new marketing push to set the Mac apart from Windows, starting with a campaign encouraging computer users to "Think different."

Apple's first new product under his direction, the brightly colored, plastic iMac, launched in 1998 and sold about 2 million in its first year. Apple returned to profitability that year. Jobs dropped the "interim" from his title in 2000.

He changed his style, too, said Tim Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for Creative Strategies.

"In the early days, he was in charge of every detail. The only way you could say it is, he was kind of a control freak," he said. In his second stint, "he clearly was much more mellow and more mature."

In the decade that followed, Jobs kept Apple profitable while pushing out an impressive roster of new products.

Apple's popularity exploded in the 2000s. The iPod, smaller and sleeker with each generation, introduced many lifelong Windows users to their first Apple gadget.

The arrival of the iTunes music store in 2003 gave people a convenient way to buy music legally online, song by song. For the music industry, it was a mixed blessing. The industry got a way to reach Internet-savvy people who, in the age of Napster, were growing accustomed to downloading music free. But online sales also hastened the demise of CDs and established Apple as a gatekeeper, resulting in battles between Jobs and music executives over pricing and other issues.

Jobs' command over gadget lovers and pop culture swelled to the point that, on the eve of the iPhone's launch in 2007, faithful followers slept on sidewalks outside posh Apple stores for the chance to buy one. Three years later, at the iPad's debut, the lines snaked around blocks and out through parking lots, even though people had the option to order one in advance.

The decade was not without its glitches. In the mid-2000s, Apple was swept up in a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into stock options backdating, a practice that artificially raised the value of options grants. But Jobs and Apple emerged unscathed after two former executives took the fall and eventually settled with the SEC.

Jobs' personal ethos — a natural food lover who embraced Buddhism and New Age philosophy — was closely linked to the public persona he shaped for Apple. Apple itself became a statement against the commoditization of technology — a cynical view, to be sure, from a company whose computers can cost three or more times as much as those of its rivals.

For technology lovers, buying Apple products has meant gaining entrance to an exclusive club. At the top was a complicated and contradictory figure who was endlessly fascinating — even to his detractors, of which Jobs had many. Jobs was a hero to techno-geeks and a villain to partners he bullied and to workers whose projects he unceremoniously killed or claimed as his own.

Unauthorized biographer Alan Deutschman described him as "deeply moody and maddeningly erratic." In his personal life, Jobs denied for two years that he was the father of Lisa, the baby born to his longtime girlfriend Chrisann Brennan in 1978.

Few seemed immune to Jobs' charisma and will. He could adeptly convince those in his presence of just about anything — even if they disagreed again when he left the room and his magic wore off.

"He always has an aura around his persona," said Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for more than 20 years as a Creative Strategies analyst. "When you talk to him, you know you're really talking to a brilliant mind."

But Bajarin also remembers Jobs lashing out with profanity at an employee who interrupted their meeting. Jobs, the perfectionist, demanded greatness from everyone at Apple.

Jobs valued his privacy, but some details of his romantic and family life have been uncovered. In the early 1980s, Jobs dated the folk singer Joan Baez, according to Deutschman.

In 1989, Jobs spoke at Stanford's graduate business school and met his wife, Laurene Powell, who was then a student. When she became pregnant, Jobs at first refused to marry her. It was a near-repeat of what had happened more than a decade earlier with then-girlfriend Brennan, Deutschman said, but eventually Jobs relented.

Jobs started looking for his biological family in his teens, according to an interview he gave to The New York Times in 1997. He found his biological sister when he was 27. They became friends, and through her Jobs met his biological mother. Few details of those relationships have been made public.

But the extent of Apple secrecy didn't become clear until Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with — and "cured" of — a rare form of operable pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The company had sat on the news of his diagnosis for nine months while Jobs tried trumping the disease with a special diet, Fortune magazine reported in 2008.

In the years after his cancer was revealed, rumors about Jobs' health would spark runs on Apple stock as investors worried the company, with no clear succession plan, would fall apart without him. Apple did little to ease those concerns. It kept the state of Jobs' health a secret for as long as it could, then disclosed vague details when, in early 2009, it became clear he was again ill.

Jobs took a half-year medical leave of absence starting in January 2009, during which he had a liver transplant. Apple did not disclose the procedure at the time; two months later, The Wall Street Journal reported the fact and a doctor at the transplant hospital confirmed it.

In January 2011, Jobs announced another medical leave, his third, with no set duration. He returned to the spotlight briefly in March to personally unveil a second-generation iPad and again in June, when he showed off Apple's iCloud music synching service. At both events, he looked frail in his signature jeans and mock turtleneck.

Less than three months later, Jobs resigned as CEO. In a letter addressed to Apple's board and the "Apple community" Jobs said he "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 2005, following the bout with cancer, Jobs delivered Stanford University's commencement speech.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," he said. "Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."

Jobs is survived by his biological mother; his sister Mona Simpson; Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter with Brennan; wife Laurene, and their three children, Erin, Reed and Eve.

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AP Technology Writers Michael Liedtke and Rachel Metz in San Francisco and AP Writer Brooke Donald in Cupertino contributed to this report.

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10 products that defined Steve Jobs' career

PETER SVENSSON, The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Steve Jobs had no formal schooling in engineering, yet he's listed as the inventor or co-inventor on more than 300 U.S. patents. These are some of the significant products that were created under his direction:

1. Apple I (1976) — Apple's first product was a computer for hobbyists and engineers, made in small numbers. Steve Wozniak designed it, while Jobs orchestrated the funding and handled the marketing.

2. Apple II (1977) — One of the first successful personal computers, the Apple II was designed as a mass-market product rather than something for engineers or enthusiasts. It was still largely Wozniak's design. Several upgrades for the model followed, and the product line continued until 1993.

3. Lisa (1983) — Jobs' visit to Xerox Corp.'s research center in Palo Alto inspired him to start work on the first commercial computer with a graphical user interface, with icons, windows and a cursor controlled by a mouse. It was the foundation for today's computer interfaces, but the Lisa was too expensive to be a commercial success.

4. Macintosh (1984) — Like the Lisa, the Macintosh had a graphical user interface. It was also cheaper and faster and had the backing of a large advertising campaign behind it. People soon realized how useful the graphical interface was for design. That led "desktop publishing," accomplished with a Mac coupled to a laser printer, to soon become a sales driver.

5. NeXT computer (1989) — After being forced out of Apple, Jobs started a company that built a powerful workstation computer. The company was never able to sell large numbers, but the computer was influential: The world's first Web browser was created on one. Its software also lives on as the basis for today's Macintosh and iPhone operating system.

6. iMac (1998) — When Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, the company was foundering, with an ever shrinking share of the PC market. The radical iMac was the first step in reversing the slide. It was strikingly designed as a bubble of blue plastic that enclosed both the monitor and the computer. Easy to set up, it captured the imagination just as people across the world were having their eyes opened to the benefits of the Internet and considering getting their first home computer.

7. iPod (2001) — It wasn't the first digital music player with a hard drive, but it was the first successful one. Apple's expansion into portable electronics has had vast ramifications. The iPod's success prepared the way for the iTunes music store and the iPhone.

8. iTunes store (2003) — Before the iTunes store, buying digital music was a hassle, making piracy the more popular option. The store simplified the process and brought together tracks from all the major labels. The store became the largest music retailer in the U.S. in 2008.

9. iPhone (2007) — The iPhone did for the phone experience what the Macintosh did for personal computing — it made the power of a smartphone easy to harness. Apple is now the world's most profitable maker of phones, and the influence of the iPhone is evident in all smartphones.

10. iPad (2010) — Dozens of companies, including Apple, had created tablet computers before the iPad, but none caught on. The iPad finally cracked the code, creating a whole new category of computer practically by itself.

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The Associated Press, The Associated Press

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., influenced the world with products from the Macintosh computer to the iPad. His death on Wednesday at age 56 prompted an outpouring of remembrances.

Here are some of those statements:

— "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." — Apple CEO Tim Cook, who succeeded Jobs in the role in August.

— "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's board of directors.

— "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." — Steve Jobs' family.

— "We've lost something we won't get back. The way I see it, though, the way people love products he put so much into creating means he brought a lot of life to the world." — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

— "For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely." — Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates.

— "Steve was such an 'original,' with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend." — The Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger.

"Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply 'make it great.'" — Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios chief creative officer John Lasseter and president Ed Catmull.

"Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it."

And, in a separate tweet: "There may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented." — President Barack Obama.

— "Steve was a larger-than-life personality — passionate about music and one of its biggest fans and advocates. He was a true visionary who forever transformed how fans access and enjoy music. With the introduction of the iTunes software and other platforms, Steve and Apple made it once again easy and accepted to pay for music. His legacy will live on, long past his all-too-short time on Earth." — Cary Sherman, CEO, Recording Industry Association of America.

"Today, we lost one of the most influential thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs of all time. Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation. While I am deeply saddened by his passing, I'm reminded of the stunning impact he had in revolutionizing the way people consume media and entertainment." — News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.

— "Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder. The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come." — Dell Inc. founder and CEO Michael Dell.

— "Steve Jobs was a great visionary and a respected competitor. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and to all of the employees of Apple." — Research in Motion Ltd. co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie

— "The genius of Steve Jobs, a man I've known for 40 years, not only brought to life the visual magic and brilliant storytelling of Pixar, but brought the world one of the most innovative and successful platforms to make movies and TV available online at the click of a mouse. He was a pioneer, and helped all of us better understand how technologists and creators can work together to enrich and enliven our shared world." — Sen. Chris Dodd, CEO, Motion Picture Association of America.

— "He humanized technology and made it work in wondrous ways that genuinely improved our lives." — The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

— "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." — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

— "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." — Google CEO Larry Page.

"The digital age has lost its leading light, but Steve's innovation and creativity will inspire dreamers and thinkers for generations," Sony Corp. President and CEO Howard Stringer.

— "Steve Jobs was a great California innovator who demonstrated what a totally independent and creative mind can accomplish. Few people have made such a powerful and elegant imprint on our lives." — California Gov. Jerry Brown.

— "Steve Jobs was a California icon who embodied Silicon Valley's entrepreneurial spirit of creativity and optimism. By revolutionizing communications, he touched the lives of billions of people around the world." — U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

— "I believe history will remember Steve Jobs as one of the greatest innovators of all time, the Thomas Edison of the 21st Century. And I will also remember him as someone who had my total admiration for his unwavering dedication to improving mankind." — U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif.

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