Steve Jobs, the visionary and guiding force behind Apple computers and the father of an incredible list of innovations that changed the world and how we interact with it passed away on October 5. He was 56 years old. Acclaimed as a creative genius, reactions and responses to Jobs’ death came from all over the globe, including the White House, and also caused spontaneous gatherings outside Apple retail stores and at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Jobs dropped out of Reed College in Oregon after attending for just six months and co-founded Apple Computers in his parents’ garage with his childhood friend Steve Wozniak in 1976, at the age of 21. The duo launched the Apple II, widely held as the world’s first personal computer. He was said to be a multi-millionaire by age 25 and appeared on the cover of Time magazine the next year. After being ejected from Apple in 1984, he founded NeXT computers and acquired the computer graphics portion of Lucasfilm, from which sprang Pixar Animation Studios.
Apple brought Jobs back into the fold in 1996 by purchasing NeXT and he was named CEO in 1997. The list of innovations he was responsible for creating with the company since then is long. The major items on the list are obvious:
- iTunes and the digital music revolution
But Jobs and Apple were responsible for literally thousands of additional innovations over the past four decades.
In March of 2011, Jobs was named number 109 on the Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires. He sold Pixar to Walt Disney and became a Disney board member and the company’s largest shareholder. At one point this summer, Apple surpassed ExxonMobile as the world’s most valuable company — an incredible achievement for any company, let alone one founded by two friends in a garage.
Our condolences to his family and friends, and to all our friends at Apple.