Nightly News

Nightly News   |  October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs: Remembering a visionary

Around the world people were touched by the passing of Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, who changed the way people listen to music, share photos and talk on the phone, as well as shaking up the field of personal computing. NBC's George Lewis reports.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

WILLIAMS: Good evening.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Since the news arrived from California last night and all day today, we've heard people say Steve Jobs changed the world. And it's true. We've heard him compared to Henry Ford , Thomas Edison , Alexander Graham Bell , and it's true. His death was a global event. In his own way he changed life and, along the way, computing and music. He gave us something to point to with pride. He gave us the icons and the fonts and Shuffles and swipes of our modern lives. He was relentless and exacting and unique, and he was was dying of cancer during some of the most productive years of his life. Steve Jobs was Apple and Steve Jobs was the American innovator of the modern age . He's gone at the age of 56, and we remember him tonight beginning with NBC 's George Lewis .

GEORGE LEWIS reporting: With the help of a top design team, Jobs turned electronic gadgets into objects of desire. There was the Macintosh computer in 1984 ...

Mr. STEVE JOBS: And it has turned out insanely great.

LEWIS: ...the iPod in 2001 . And then in 2007 ...

Mr. JOBS: Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.

LEWIS: ...the iPhone. And in 2010 , the iPad .

Mr. STEVE WOZNIAK (Apple Co-Founder): So all these things, one after another after another, it's like home run , home run , home run , home run , you know, and there's only one "Babe."

LEWIS: In 1976 , Steve Wozniak and Jobs co-founded Apple , and within 10 years it had turned into a $2 billion company with 4,000 employees.

Mr. WOZNIAK: They were the most fun years of my life.

LEWIS: It wasn't all fun. After losing a corporate power struggle in 1985 , Jobs left Apple for 11 years. He went into computer animation, acquiring Pixar Studios and striking pay dirt with a string of hit movies starting with " Toy Story ."

LEWIS: When Jobs came back to Apple in 1996 , he began reinventing the Mac , dressing it up in a variety of colors.

Mr. JOBS: They look so good, you kind of want to lick them.

LEWIS: Concerns about his health began in 2004 , when he underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer. A year later he spoke about that during a commencement speech at Stanford University .

Mr. JOBS: This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades.

LEWIS: But Jobs was losing weight, something revealed in these photos taken in 2007 and 2008 . In April 2009 , he underwent a liver transplant. Five months later, back on the job at Apple , he expressed his gratitude.

Mr. JOBS: I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs.

LEWIS: Friends say one of the things that drove Steve Jobs was a premonition he had that he would die young. As he told the Stanford grads in 2005 ...

Mr. JOBS: Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

LEWIS: Time magazine stopped the presses when Jobs died and redid tomorrow's edition, putting him on the cover for the seventh time.

Mr. JOHN ABELL (Wired Magazine): Steve Jobs is Edison in the sense that he was a terrific inventor and innovator. He was a Henry Ford , the businessman. He might go down as the top CEO of any company of any kind in the history of business.

LEWIS: Apple employees have been stopping by this improvised memorial at company headquarters. And people have been paying their respects at one of Jobs ' residences in nearby Palo Alto . And all over the Internet there are images like this popping up on social network sites. Jobs is survived by his wife and four children. A communique from the family said that Steve was surrounded by the people he loved, that he died

peacefully. Brian: George Lewis starting us off in Cupertino , California , tonight. George ,