Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs has died on Wednesday due to complications from pancreatic cancer at the age of 56. Apple confirmed his passing on its website, although immediately did not give any further details. After several years of successfully fighting the disease (Jobs was first diagnosed with the illness in 2003), Jobs’ health waned in recent years and he was forced to resign from his position as CEO of Apple in August.
Apple’s board of directors offered a statement acknowledging Jobs’ passing:
“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 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.”
A statement from Jobs’ family said that he died peacefully surrounded by those he loved, and noted how much he cherished his family. They expressed their thanks to those that had passed on their well-wishes during his extended illness.
Bill Gates, Chairman and former CEO of Microsoft - and Steve Jobs longtime rival - issued a statement expressing his condolences to Jobs family and friends.
"Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. 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," Gates wrote.
Born in San Francisco in 1954 and raised in the Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs began his career as a teenager working for Hewlett Packard. While there, Jobs met future Apple founder Steve Wozniak and the pair began to put together the pieces of what would become one of the most celebrated computer companies in history.