Steve Jobs, the visionary in the black turtleneck who co-founded Apple in a Silicon Valley garage, built it into the world's leading tech company and led a mobile-computing revolution with wildly popular devices such as the iPhone, died Wednesday. He was 56.
Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause. He had been battling pancreatic cancer.
"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."
Steve had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January — his third since his health problems began — before resigning as CEO six weeks ago. Steve became Apple's chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.
By the time he turned the reins of the company over to Cook, Steve had become one of the business world’s greatest comeback kids.
The company he founded, was fired from and then returned to had gone from also-ran to technology industry leader. Under Steve’ intensely detail-oriented leadership, Apple created several iconic products, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad, that have changed the face of consumer technology forever.
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In the process, Jobs transformed Apple into one of the nation's most valuable companies and himself into one of the world's richest men.
Just Wednesday the company released a new version of the iPhone, the first such major product announcement in years that didn't involve Jobs, iPhone4S.
Jobs' family issued a statement: "Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family. ... We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief."