Steve Jobs, the man who changed the Computer, Music and Phone industry in 35 years , dies aged 56

Steve Jobs launching the iphone

Apple co-founder and Chairman Steve Jobs, arguably the modern day Thomas Edison, died last night. He was 56. Jobs leaves behind his wife, four children, two sisters, and 49,000 Apple employees.

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

Jobs had been suffering from various health issues following the seventh anniversary of his surgery for a rare form of pancreatic cancer in August 2004. Apple announced in January that he would be taking an indeterminate medical leave of absence, with Jobs then stepping down from his role as CEO in late August.

Jobs had undergone a liver transplant in April 2009 during an earlier planned six-month leave of absence. He returned to work for a year and a half before his health forced him to take more time off. He told his employees in August, “I have 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.”

One of the most legendary businessmen in American history, Jobs turned three separate industries on their head in the 35 years he was involved in the technology industry.

Personal computing was invented with the launch of the Apple II in 1977. Legal digital music recordings were brought into the mainstream with the iPod and iTunes in the early 2000s, and mobile phones were never the same after the 2007 debut of the iPhone. Jobs played an instrumental role in the development of all three, and managed to find time to transform the art of computer-generated movie-making on the side.

The invention of the iPad in 2010, a touch-screen tablet computer his competitors flocked to reproduce, was the capstone of his career as a technologist. A conceptual hybrid of a touch-screen iPod and a slate computer, the 10-inch mobile device was Jobs’ vision for a more personal computing device.

Jobs was considered brilliant yet brash. He valued elegance in design yet was almost never seen in public wearing anything but a black mock turtleneck, blue jeans, and a few days worth of stubble. A master salesman who considered himself an artist at heart, Jobs inspired both reverence and fear in those who worked for him and against him, and was adored by an army of loyal Apple customers who almost saw him as superhuman.

Jobs was born in San Francisco in 1955 to young parents who gave him up for adoption. Paul and Clara Jobs gave him his name, and moved out of the city in 1960 to the Santa Clara Valley, later to be known as Silicon Valley. Jobs grew up in Mountain View and Cupertino, where Apple’s headquarters is located.

He attended Reed College in Oregon for a year but dropped out, although he sat in on some classes that interested him, such as calligraphy. After a brief stint at Atari working on video games, he spent time backpacking around India, furthering teenage experiments with psychedelic drugs and developing an interest in Buddhism, all of which would shape his work at Apple.

Back in California, Jobs’ friend Steve Wozniak was learning the skills that would change both their lives. When Jobs discovered that Wozniak had been assembling relatively (for the time) small computers, he struck a partnership, and Apple Computer was founded in 1976 in the usual Silicon Valley fashion: setting up shop in the garage of one of the founder’s parents.

Wozniak handled the technical end, creating the Apple I, while Jobs ran sales and distribution. The company sold a few hundred Apple Is, but found much greater success with the Apple II, which put the company on the map and is largely credited as having proven that regular people wanted computers.

It also made Jobs and Wozniak rich. Apple went public in 1980, and Jobs was well on his way to becoming one of the first tech industry celebrities, earning a reputation for brilliance, arrogance, and the sheer force of his will and persuasion, often jokingly referred to as his “reality-distortion field.”

The debut of the Macintosh in 1984 left no doubt that Apple was a serious player in the computer industry, but Jobs only had a little more than a year left at the company he founded when the Mac was released in January 1984.

By 1985 Apple CEO John Sculley–who Jobs had convinced to leave Pepsi in 1983 and run Apple with the legendary line, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”–had developed his own ideas for the future of the company, and they differed from Jobs’. He removed Jobs from his position leading the Macintosh team, and Apple’s board backed Sculley.

Jobs resigned from the company, later telling an audience of Stanford University graduates “what had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.” He would get the last laugh.

He went on to found NeXT, which set about making the next computer in Jobs’ eyes. NeXT was never the commercial success that Apple was, but during those years, Jobs found three things that would help him architect his return.

The first was Pixar. Jobs snapped up the graphic-arts division of Lucasfilm in 1986, which would go on to produce “Toy Story” in 1995 and set the standard for computer-graphics films. After making a fortune from Pixar’s IPO in 1995, Jobs eventually sold the company to Disney in 2006.

The second was object-oriented software development. NeXT chose this development model for its software operating systems, and it proved to be more advanced and more nimble than the operating system developments Apple was working on without Jobs.

The third was Laurene Powell, a Stanford MBA student who attended a talk on entrepreneurialism given by Jobs in 1989 at the university. The two wed in 1991 and eventually had three children; Reed, born in 1991, Erin, born in 1995, and Eve, born in 1998. Jobs has another daughter, Lisa, who was born in 1978, but Jobs refused to acknowledge he was her father for the first few years of her life, eventually reconciling with Lisa and her mother, his high-school girlfriend Chris-Ann Brennan.

Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, having convinced then-CEO Gil Amelio to adopt NeXTStep as the future of Apple’s operating system development. Apple was in a shambles at the time, losing money, market share, and key employees.

By 1997, Jobs was once again in charge of Apple. He immediately brought buzz back to the company, which pared down and reacquired a penchant for showstoppers, such as the 1998 introduction of the iMac; perhaps the first “Stevenote.” His presentation skills at events such as Macworld would become legendary examples of showmanship and star power in the tech industry.

Jobs also set the company on the path to becoming a consumer-electronics powerhouse, creating and improving products such as the iPod, iTunes, and later, the iPhone and iPad. Apple is the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world, surpassing ExxonMobil’s market capitalization in August. He did so in his own fashion, imposing his ideas and beliefs on his employees and their products in ways that left many a career in tatters. Jobs enforced a culture of secrecy at Apple and was an extremely demanding leader, terrorizing Apple employees when he returned to the company in the late 1990s with summary firings if he didn’t like the answers they gave when questioned.

Jobs was an intensely private person. That quality put him and Apple at odds with government regulators and stockholders who demanded to know details about his ongoing health problems and his prognosis as the leader and alter ego of his company. It spurred a 2009 SEC probe into whether Apple’s board had made misleading statements about his health.
In the years before he fell ill in 2008, Jobs seemed to soften a bit, perhaps due to his bout with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004.

In 2005, his remarks to Stanford graduates included this line: “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. 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.”

Later, in 2007, he appeared onstage at the D: All Things Digital conference for a lengthy interview with bitter rival Bill Gates, exchanging mutual praise and prophetically quoting the Beatles: “You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.”

[news.com]

70 Comments

  1. 1 flag Mandaliza

    The technology world has lost an iconic, visionary and creative genius whose IT products will continue to delight a generation. Rest in Peace Steve Jobs. We will miss your creativity in the IT world.

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    1. 1.1 flag canadian

      The world will never see such a rare gem in the character of Steve Jobs. Such creative and the mind to see things so differently is quite unusual.RIP MAN.

      vote
  2. 2 flag Mwiponta Mukabwela

    Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. The world will miss you, i will personally remember you for my iphone 4G i really enjoy it. may the good Lord be with you and your family

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  3. 4 flag Mazabuka

    The world has truly lost a visionary and we wish his wife and family God’s comfort. I love apple products and I know that they will continue to be helpful to humanity. It is appointed for humanity to die once and then to face judgement (Hebrews 9:27). Everyone including Steve will face God’s judgement and if Steve never made things right with his maker, there’s no rest for his soul no matter how much good he has done to humanity with his inovations.

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    1. 4.1 flag NAPAPA SANA!!!!!!

      NO ONE can merit salvation by his works, not even you Mazabuka. Eternal Life is purely a Gift from God. God decides who enters heaven or not. But human beings are expected to make their effort also.

      vote
  4. 5 flag Keke

    Huge loss indeed! Cant imagine Silicon Valley without Steve Jobs. Looking forward to the trajectory of Apple in the next 5 years. Rest in Peace.

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  5. 6 flag DONMU

    I will miss steve’s approach to work especially interview styles and “reality-distortion field.” His inventions freed humanity in communication; May our lord God give him grace in his after earth life.

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    1. 7.1 flag manokaran

       I feel i lost a member of my family. A great loss .
                                                                        

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  6. 8 flag Dundumwezi

    People like Jobs should not be dying. But who are we to stop nature and God’s plans on earth? MHSRIP. Great guy indeed

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  7. 9 flag mat

    What a loss this is to the world. The IT industry will definately miss an icon and genius in this man. So long Mr Jobs.

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  8. 10 flag bamwine

    Ideed you were a true icon, a genius who mesmerised the world with you creativeness, invesion and agility. We will miss you but your work will live forever, rest in peace steve jobs.

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  9. 13 flag NAPAPA SANA!!!!!!

    #4, Mazabuka, I am surprised that you are already talking about facing God’s Judgement and if Steve did not make things right. These sentiments are uncalled for here especially that we are mourning our great man in the apple family.

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  10. 14 flag MB

    No. 13 NAPAPA SANA!!!!!! However grat Jobs was, he was a human! The bible says…..And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul … Mark 8:36. I quote from his biography “Jobs returned from his trek around the sub continent with a shaven head, wearing Indian robes and having experienced the effects of LSD; he was to remain a Buddhist and vegetarian throughout his life.”
    Yes, he did great things but then, how many great men are there? However, MHSRIP

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  11. 15 flag bibo4shizo

    I’m equally disappointed with Mazabuka,those of us in the tech world who have followed the silicon valley giants are very touched and we miss him already. May he rest in peace.

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  12. 16 flag Angel

    Steve we will miss you greatly. As a lady who uses your products
    Rest in Peace. #4 do judge others, just think about your own life.
    Rest in Peace Jobs

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  13. 17 flag Mufana Wamahafu

    The passing of such a great person will obviously be felt by a great majority of the world.You are a great inspiration to progressive young and successful men like me. The impact which you’ve left will forever be felt in a very long long time to come. M.Y.S.R.I.P.

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  14. 18 flag Nelson74

    sad, sad news, indeed. Though our hearts are heavy with sadness of your passing, our memories of you will always be filled happiness because of your genius and inspiration in the IT world

    Reply
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  15. 19 flag me

    Rest in peace Steve. Your death comes as a shock to me. We always think that people like you will be around for a very long time but you are just human too and one day, you have to leave. Rest in peace.:(

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  16. 20 flag Enka Rasha

    What a creative genius he was and a great visionary.He truly was the Thomas Edison of our time and his death is a great loss to us all.RIP Steve.

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  17. 21 flag Nine Chale

    R.I.P. Steve Jobs. Thank you for the Mac.

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  18. 22 flag ISLANDER

    Mr. Jobs you will be missed as a giant in the world of technology! May your Great soul Rest In Peace

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  19. 23 flag Ku Mindolo

    I started to follow his creativity when I was In school. The world has lost a technology pioneer and Innovator..His works will continue to speak. Without apple,there was never going to be touch-screens,iphones,ipads,mac and itunes.will greatly miss steve.

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  20. 24 flag dewenga

    Jobs, the world is better now becz of your contributions in infotech. The whole world is in mourning. RIP

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  21. 25 flag Moscow(op)

    I’m really sad.As an IT specialist ,i feel very sad indeed.Why should intelligent people die when they are young?Anyway God has answers.The man was genius.How i wish somebody will show up with briliant ideas like Steve.May his soul rest in peace.

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  22. 26 flag Umuntu Mutwe

    RIP  Steve Jobs….Will miss you….You have inspire me in my IT field

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  23. 27 flag Mwanachilenga Robert

    Sad. Great visionery, realy more that a Thomas Edison of our times. He made my, our lives much more easier. You have been greatly admired. Will be greatly missed.

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  24. 28 flag Robertokambolev

    I will miss the atmosphere SJ provided during the unveiling of his insanely cool and innovative products.

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  25. 29 flag Robertokambolev

    As someone said, America needs more of Steve Jobs than Sarah Palins…RIP.

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  26. 30 flag Italian Bunga Bunga (Original)

    Sorry guys off topic!

    Matibini wins by one vote. Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PF again. Donchi Kubeba.

    Reply
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  27. 31 flag Gumu Gumu

    A life well lived. What an impact he made to the whole world with his ingenuity. R.I.P Steve Jobs.

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  28. 32 flag THE SAINT

    It is not the length but the quality of life that one leads that matters. Steve did so much for the computer industry in his short life. I am proud to belong to his generation. I hope he made peace with His Maker. (from my iPad)

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  29. 33 flag Ba kalamba ba Sata

    chabipa mwandi

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  30. 34 flag ChemTalk

    It is indeed sad, the death of Steve Jobs.
    He has inspired me in so many ways and I’ve always wanted to be like him, and I will be one day, the Steve Jobs of Zambia, this I promise. MHSRIP!

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  31. 35 flag Chanda Chimba the Thirsty

    Thanks a lot Jobs for the great contribution. MHSRIP

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  32. 36 flag life

    gentlemen, you write comments as if the man is somewhere reading them. when one dies, he looses consciousness; cannot think, read ar write back. the death of any dear one should help us reflect on what we are doing with our lives. it is not our place to say how God has judged the dead.

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  33. 37 flag Pulamasaka

    you left a legacy behind..RIP …

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  34. 38 flag Leonardo

    When you pass on you should leave a mark like this gentleman, unlike most africans only destruction UBULOSHI!! BUKABOLALA!! ETC.

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  35. 39 flag Pepecho Suffering

    This guy was not very educated but brilliant. I think to some extent education make us unproductive and dull. Great scientists that we know of made discoveries on their own.They never used a text book. Education just limit our level of thinking to what we learn in class, lecture rooms etc and yet the human mind is so vast that it can do wonders.What do you think? …Open for all comments, even insults

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  36. 40 flag Theophilus

    # 39 the free world recognizes talent and provides an enabling environment to further ones skills, yet in the developing world we put too much emphasis on acquisition of papers to hang on our walls as measure for intelligence. Henry Ford and his Ford Motors, Bill Gates and Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Apple are some names that have remarkably made impact in the industrial world. Time we put meaningful value to life alongside formal education

    Steve Jobs May Your Soul Rest In Peace 

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  37. 41 flag D Milo

    sad that we have lost one of the most brilliant Guys in Tech World

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  38. 43 flag UK-Zed Observer

    An immense person. A great loss!

    Perharps we should all consider “What impact can I make on this world, Zambia, my extended family and my immediate family?

    Can start with spotting a need, then go meet it with all our stregnth and zeal, not for praise but to serve mankind even if they were only a small people group.

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  39. 44 flag Shaka

    He was one of those people that commanded respect as a result of what he did without coveting it. The company he founded started from a humble beginning in his garage to the global giant that it is today. Great men do not announce their achievements on roof tops. They let others sing about it. The industry shall miss his innovation.  

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  40. 45 flag Mwanawakwitu

    REST IN PEACE. That knowledge has returned to its maker our Lord Jesus.

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  41. 46 flag kamwendo

    Geniuses are born once every blue moon – it is what they do & the legacy they leave behind, that tells the real story of their brilliance! Go well steve & rest in peace!

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  42. 47 flag Half life

    Steve Jobs May Your Soul Rest In Peace . He was a Man and he will be greatly missed.

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  43. 48 flag Half life

    Bill Gates he puts computers on our tables and desks. But steve jobs you put it in our pockets, handbags,tables, desks etc. MYSRP

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