Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and technology visionary has died, the company announced today. He was 56.
Apple did not provide a specific cause of death. Jobs underwent treatment for cancer starting in 2004 and received a liver transplant in 2009. In August, Jobs handed his chief executive role at the company to designated successor Timothy D. Cook, the former chief operating officer. Jobs was reportedly still conducting company business on his departure as chairman.
The news came just a day after Apple rolled out the latest version of its popular iPhone. Along with innovative home computers, the iPod and eventually the iPad, Jobs' creations transformed computing rituals for millions of users around the world and are viewed by many as the most desirable products for their purpose.
A message at Apple's website Wednesday night read, "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."
Jobs co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak in a Palo Alto garage in 1976. As a visionary of impending demand for computing devices for individual users, Apple devices first captured a following among home users and experimenters, and later among engineers and designers who favored Apple devices for their performance.
Jobs was born in 1955 to an unmarried couple was and eventually adopted by a California machinist and his wife. A high school prankster and college dropout, Jobs connected with Wozniak to market home computing devices. One of Wozniak's designs became Apple's first computer product in 1976.
At one point in the mid-1980s, Jobs was forced out of Apple in a dispute but he eventually returned to lead Apple to surpass Microsoft's market value and become the world's most valuable technology company.