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Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dead at 56
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Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dead at 56

  • The homepage of Apple's website Wednesday evening.
    The homepage of Apple's website Wednesday evening.
  • Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs shows off the new Macbook Air ultra portable laptop during his keynote speech at Macworld in 2008.
    incredibleguy/FlickrApple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs shows off the new Macbook Air ultra portable laptop during his keynote speech at Macworld in 2008.

Apple Computer announced Wednesday that founder Steve Jobs has died. He was 56.

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," Apple's board of directors said in a statement. "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. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts."

Job's family issued a statement:

Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

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.

Jobs, the technical and marketing guru behind the company's iPhone, iPad, iMac, iPod and iTunes, co-founded Apple Computer in 1976 with childhood friend Steve Wozniak.

They marketed the world's first personal computer, the Apple II, in the 1970s. Jobs, who left the company for a period in the 1990s, returned and turned Apple into the world's most valuable company—and changed how we interact with computers.

Jobs's name was listed on over 200 patents. He helped define the modern computer with 1984's Macintosh, the early-90's PowerBooks, and the series of i-devices from 1998 to the present.

He suffered from health challenges in recent years, beating pancreatic cancer in 2004, and receiving a liver transplant in 2009.

Jobs resigned as Apple's CEO in August, saying "I have always said 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. Unfortunately, that day has come."

On Wednesday, the company changed its website to feature a full-page photo of the co-founder: "Steve Jobs, 1955-2011," it read.

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