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Apple founder Steve Jobs dies

Apple founder Steve Jobs dies

Apple's homepage said it all.

Steve Jobs, its ailing founder, died today at the age of 56, a day after Apple revealed the new iPhone 4S at its Cupertino headquarters in California.

"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 company said in a statement.

"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 was diagnosed with a tumour in his pancreas in 2004 and underwent surgery. He then had a liver transplant in 2009.

In January, he took indefinite leave from Apple and resigned as chief executive in August, passing the mantle to COO Tim Cook.

In August 2008,  Bloomberg wrongly published an obituary of Jobs, to which he later responded by saying: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

As the man behind the iPhone, iPad and other iconic Apple devices, he turned Apple into one of the world's most powerful companies.

He has also served as chief executive of Pixar and on the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney.

Watch his 2005 Stanford University commencement speech below, How to live before you die.

Tributes flow

US President Barack Obama: "By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

"The world has lost a visionary. And 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."

Bill Gates: "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.

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

Google head Larry Page: "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."

So many people drew courage from Steve and related to his life story: adoptees, college drop-outs, struggling entrepreneurs, ousted business leaders figuring out how to make a difference in the world, and people fighting debilitating illness. We have all been there in some way and can see a bit of ourselves in his personal and professional successes and struggles.

Richard Branson: "So many people drew courage from Steve and related to his life story: adoptees, college drop-outs, struggling entrepreneurs, ousted business leaders figuring out how to make a difference in the world, and people fighting debilitating illness. We have all been there in some way and can see a bit of ourselves in his personal and professional successes and struggles."

Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki: "I can tell you with total certainty that Steve Jobs was a great, if not the greatest, influence in my life. From him I learned, one is an appreciation of design, an appreciation of elegance and simplicity. I learned how far you can push people, that you can get the best work out of people by pushing them with great challenges."

In his own words

"Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me."

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."

"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."

"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me."

"Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

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