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updated 10/5/2011 10:20:00 PM ET 2011-10-06T02:20:00

Steve Jobs, the founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., has died, according to a statement posted today on the company website.

"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being," the statement reads.

"Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."

Jobs died Wednesday in Palo Alto, Calif., according to several news reports. He was 56.

Jobs has long suffered from pancreatic cancer. In 2004, he received a liver transplant and took several medical leaves of absences in recent years before finally resigning as CEO of Apple this summer.

“I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Jobs wrote in a letter released by the company when he left. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”

News of Jobs death comes one day after the company unveiled the fifth generation iPhone, the iPhone 4S. Jobs played in integral role in designing and developing the popular touchscreen cellphone, which debuted in 2007 and featured an innovative multitouch navigation system that is now a standard feature in many consumer smartphones.

The iPhone was one of several game-changing products that Jobs has been credited with. The list includes the Apple II and the Macintosh computers that brought desktop publishing to the masses, the iPod that became the world’s most popular MP3 music player, and the best-selling iPad tablet computer. Jobs also helped take animation to new heights after purchasing Pixar, the studio responsible for “Toy Story” and other blockbusters, from Lucasfilms.

“If Apple becomes a place where computers are a commodity item, where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that an has ever invented, I’ll feel I have lost Apple,” Jobs said in an interview with Newsweek in 1985. “But if I’m a million miles away, and all those people still feel those things… then I will feel that my genes are still there.”

Jobs helped create gadgets that were simultaneously powerful and easy to us by adhering to a strict design philosophy that put people and the user experience first.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me,” Jobs said back in 1993 in a CNNMoney/Fortune interview. “Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful—that’s what matters to me.”

Apple has invited people to share their thoughts, memories and condolences by writing to rememberingsteve@apple.com.

 

 

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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