Steve Jobs, the demanding visionary who understood before anyone else how deeply we would live our lives through our devices, died Yesterday at the age of 56, only weeks after resigning as chief executive of computer giant Apple Inc. as he battled pancreatic cancer

“The world has lost an amazing human being,” wrote Apple chief executive Tim Cook in a message to employees. “Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

Jobs was “among the greatest of American innovators,” said President Obama in a statement posted on the White House blog. “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.”

Jobs revitalized Apple by transforming smartphones, computers, and media players into objects of desire. He insisted the company put the human experience first, focusing on design as well as technological prowess. Fifteen years ago, Apple flirted with bankruptcy; today, it is one of the most successful companies on earth.

Jobs’s rival, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, issued a statement saying, “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had.”

Gates closed his statement by writing, “I will miss Steve immensely.”

Advertisements