Steve Jobs, inventor was 56

Apple's website this afternoon.

Mark got things started earlier at LA Biz Observed, with the announcement to the Apple staff: "I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today." Jobs is survived by his wife, Laurene, and four children. Mark's posting on the death of Steve Jobs.

Apple posted this on its website, behind the photo above:

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 inspring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Obituaries and reaction from across the web.

Bill Gates on Twitter:

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


A visionary inventor and entrepreneur, it would be impossible to overstate Steve Jobs’ impact on technology and how we use it. Apple’s mercurial, mysterious leader did more than reshape his entire industry: he completely changed how we interact with technology.

Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury-News:

Steve Jobs, who sparked a revolution in the technology industry and then presided over it as Silicon Valley's radiant Sun King, died Wednesday. The incandescent center of a tech universe around which all the other planets revolved, Jobs had a genius for stylish design and a boyish sense of what was "cool." He was 56 when he died, ahead of his time to the very end.

Joseph Menn, Financial Times:

In an unparalleled career, Mr Jobs did more than anyone else in his lifetime to bring the wonder of personal computing and digital entertainment to ordinary people.

Hailed as a technological visionary, he also represented a new phenomenon in the 1970s: the businessman as a pop culture hero, as recognisable and charismatic as a film star.

Though his name was on many Apple patents, he borrowed, bought or popularised other ideas closely associated with the company’s rollercoaster fortunes.

John Markoff, New York Times:

Steve P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple who helped usher in the era of personal computers and then did nothing less than lead a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communicatioons were experienced in the digitasl age, died Wednesday in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 56.

Steve Wozniak and Jobs in 1976

Wall Street Journal:

During his more than three decade-long career, Mr. Jobs transformed Silicon Valley as he helped turn the once sleepy expanse of fruit orchards into the technology industry's innovation center. In addition to laying the groundwork for the high-tech industry alongside other pioneers like Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, Mr. Jobs proved the appeal of well-designed products over the sheer power of technology itself and shifted the way consumers interact with technology in an increasingly digital world.

"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," Mr. Gates said in a statement Wednesday.

Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times:

His legacies include making the human factor — the way a device looks, feels, weighs and insinuates itself into our lives — an indispensable element of consumer electronics design, refining the distribution and display of digital content to the point that he disrupted a business model for entertainment and information that in some respects had lasted for a century, and showing that high manufacturing standards don't cost money, but make money.

President Barack Obama in a statement:

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. 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.

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. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

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