By Brendan Loy
Apple co-founder, chairman and (until very recently) CEO Steve Jobs, whose inventions repeatedly changed the world as we know it, died today of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 56.
His death prompted massive news coverage (totally overshadowing Sarah Palin’s decision not to run for president) and an overwhelming outpouring of public grief more typical of a head of state’s death than a corporate CEO’s. But of course, Jobs was no ordinary CEO. He was — well, I’ll let President Obama say it:
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.
On that last point, I am one of the many who learned of Jobs’s death on an Apple device. The above screenshot was taken with my iPhone a few minutes later, but here’s a shot of the actual breaking-news moment — a push notification from my CNBC app, superimposed over the Mandel Initiative podcast, which I was listening to on my drive home:
One more reaction for you, from none other than Bill Gates:
I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.
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.
For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.
R.I.P., Steve Jobs.
P.S. Above, a more personal reflection by David K.