Apple said in a press release that it was “deeply saddened” to announced that Mr. Jobs had passed away on Wednesday.
“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,” the company said. “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
Mr. Jobs stepped down from the chief executive role in late August, saying he could no longer fulfill his duties, and became chairman. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, and received a liver transplant in 2009.
Rarely has a major company and industry been so dominated by a single individual, and so successful. His influence went far beyond the iconic personal computers that were Apple’s principal product for its first 20 years. In the last decade, Apple has redefined the music business through the iPod, the cellphone business through the iPhone and the entertainment and media world through the iPad. Again and again, Mr. Jobs gambled that he knew what the customer would want, and again and again he was right.
The early years of Apple long ago passed into legend: the two young hippie-ish founders, Mr. Jobs and Steve Wozniak; the introduction of the first Macintosh computer in 1984, which stretched the boundaries of what these devices could do; Mr. Jobs’s abrupt exit the next year in a power struggle. But it was his return to Apple in 1996 that started a winning streak that raised the company from the near dead to its current position. This summer, Apple briefly exceeded Exxon Mobil as the most valuable United States company.