Former Ceo of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs has died, aged 56.
The computer pioneer and the brains behind the iPhone, iPod and iPad has been battling cancer and ill health for years and stepped down as Apple's boss this summer (11) amid ongoing concerns about his welfare.
Jobs, who survived pancreatic cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009, took an indefinite leave of absence from the company at the beginning of 2011 to battle an undisclosed medical issue. It was his third medical leave in recent years.
He passed away in California on Wednesday (05Oct11).
Apple Inc. officials announced the sad news in a simple tribute on the firm's website. A full-page black and white image of Jobs was accompanied by the words, "Steve Jobs 1955-2011."
The site was later updated with the line, "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being."
A statement from Jobs' family reads, "We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief."
A representative from Apple adds, "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."
Jobs grew up in California, and dropped out of Oregon's Reed College after one semester. He began his working life designing video games for Atari, but quit to travel around India.
One of the most legendary businessmen in American history, he helped create the first Apple computer in the 1970s with engineer Steve Wozniak, who later became his business partner.
Celebrities have already started posting tributes to Jobs online, with socialite Kim Kardashian calling him a "brilliant man" and Kings of Leon star Jared Followill tweeting, "Rip Steve Jobs. You changed many lives in a lot of ways." And Kylie Minogue added, "From my Mac to all Lovers.....Rip Steve Jobs."