Tributes for Apple 'visionary' Steve Jobs


1984-2011: Three decades of innovation at Apple

World and business leaders have paid tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who has died at 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

US President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev said Mr Jobs had changed the world.

Microsoft's Bill Gates said it had been "an insanely great honour" to work with him. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg remembered his "mentor and friend".

The Twitter microblog site struggled to cope with the traffic of tributes.

Apple itself said Mr Jobs had been "the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives" and had made the world "immeasurably better".

Thousands of celebrities and ordinary people went on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to record their tributes and memories of the man behind products such as the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad.

An iPhone displays an image of Steve Jobs at a makeshift memorial outside an Apple Store in New York on 5 October 2011

The death of Mr Jobs could create a record for Twitter traffic.

Thousands of people all over the world have also been attending Apple stores to leave flowers, notes, and apples with a bite taken from them to mimic the company's logo.

Apple's leading rivals such as Microsoft, Google, Sony and Samsung all chipped in with glowing tributes.

GS Choi, chief executive of Samsung, which is embroiled in a major court battle with Apple on patents, said Mr Jobs was an "innovative spirit" who "introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry".

In his statement, Bill Gates said: "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honour."

At the scene

A single bunch of flowers - still in their plastic wrapper - were the only outward sign of the passing of Steve Jobs outside Apple's flagship London store in Covent Garden.

Ginnie Leatham, a brand director in the media industry, from West Sussex, hand delivered a single red Gerbera to staff inside the store.

She said: "I was really sad when I woke up this morning. I had a real lump in my throat and felt quite tearful.

"I was thinking about it on my commute into work. I always walk past the Apple store and I just thought 'I'm going to stop'.

Mr Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook: "Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

His comments were "liked" by more than 200,000 people within hours.

In his own tweet, Barack Obama wrote: "There may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."

Web users in China have reportedly posted almost 35 million online tributes.

Tim Cook, who was made Apple's CEO after Mr Jobs stood down in August, said his predecessor had left behind "a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple".

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Steve Jobs transformed the way we work and play; a creative genius who will be sorely missed."

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the US had "lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein".

News Corp's Rupert Murdoch said: "Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation."

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will remember Mr Jobs for "knowing what made sense in a product"

People also gathered outside Mr Jobs's home in California's Silicon Valley to lay floral wreaths, while flags were flown at half mast outside the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

A statement from Mr Jobs's family said they were with him when he died peacefully on Wednesday.

"In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family," they said, requesting privacy and thanking those who had "shared their wishes and prayers" during his final year.

Face of Apple

Mr Jobs built a reputation as a forthright and demanding leader who could take niche technologies - such as the mouse and graphical user interface, using onscreen icons rather than text - and make them popular with the general public.

Life of Steve Jobs

  • Born in San Francisco in Feb 1955 to students Joanne Schieble and Syrian-born Abdulfattah Jandali - adopted by a Californian working class couple
  • Had a summer job at Hewlett-Packard while at school - later worked at Atari
  • Dropped out of college after six months and went travelling in India, where he became a Buddhist
  • Launched Apple with school friend Steve Wozniak in 1976 - first Apple computer sold the same year
  • Left Apple amid disputes in 1985 but returned in 1996 and became CEO in 1997
  • Bought Pixar animation company in 1986 for $10m
  • Married in a Buddhist ceremony in 1991 - has three children with his wife and a daughter from a previous relationship
  • Had a personal wealth estimated at $8.3bn (£5.4bn) in 2010
  • Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, and after three periods of sickness leave, resigns as Apple CEO in August 2011

He introduced the colourful iMac computer, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad to the world. His death came just a day after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone 4S model.

With a market value estimated at $351bn (£227bn), Apple became the world's most valuable technology company.

More than almost any other business leader, Mr Jobs was indistinguishable from his company, which he co-founded in the 1970s.

As the face of Apple, he represented its dedication to high-end technology and fashionable design.

And inside the company he exerted a level of influence unheard of in most businesses.

Mr Jobs also provided major funding to set up Pixar Animation Studios.

In 2004, Mr Jobs announced that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. He had a liver transplant five years later.

In January, he took medical leave, before resigning as CEO in August and handing over his duties to Mr Cook.

In his resignation letter, Mr Jobs said: "I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role."

However, Mr Jobs stayed on as Apple's chairman.

Despite his high profile, he remained fiercely protective of his private life.

He married his wife Laurene in 1991, and the couple had three children.

Mr Jobs also leaves a daughter from a previous relationship, and as an adult he discovered that he had a biological sister, US novelist Mona Simpson.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    You can't ignore Fred Shuttlesworth! nor can you object to the perspective of: millions without food or clean water all the while SJ is 'changing the world' with gadgets!
    Fred was a million times the man SJ was and achieved more in REAL terms, but to know of him he must be googled! no mention on BBC! and just because he didn't make a new shiny!
    No perspective today - it's shocking

  • rate this

    Comment number 237.

    And many of us are disappointed or angered at the outpouring to just a man, a good CEO and marketeer but not Moses or Noah, MLK or Ghandi. Perspective is what we'd like to see. Not made up articles that lie and omit certain details to deify SJ.
    Wangari Maathai anyone? Real persons of history just fade away with no recognition. And that is a sad thing

  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    The likes of 213. Read what people say. Read my comment 183. find out something. Any tribute to this man is sickening.

    "Open your eyes - DON'T believe the lies."

  • Comment number 235.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 234.

    Have used Apple computers since the Europlus and the Apple 2E, they always worked and since the Apple 2E operating them was a breeze. Steve Jobs not only created Apple he came back and resurrected it when it looked doomed, how many people would have done that after being pushed out?

    Apple computers are easy to use thanks to Steve Jobs, a truly amazing man who will be sadly missed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 233.

    There are posters saying "if you can't say anything nice..." "all this negativity..." Just look up Fred Shuttlesworth (or Foxconn) and still say how amazing Jobs was.
    I'm certain he will be missed by people who knew him but the nauseating tributes are OTT. He did not change the world - most Earthlings cannot afford his products and a significant amount cant afford food! or have no clean water!

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    I feel sorry for those people smallminded enough to believe because he personally didnt invent things then he cant take any credit.
    Taking that approach means nobody really invents anything now since things like the wheel were invented years ago - what tosh.

    What he did do was imagine and then lead. The drive and determination was incredible. He has changed the way we do things completely.

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    I'm immensely saddened to hear that Steve Jobs is no longer with us. He was one of the few visionaries there have been in computing in recent decades.

    His brilliance was in realising what people needed from technology and how it needed to be intuitive to use, not as tools for specialists. He also inspired people to do amazing things. It was an great honour to finally meet him face to face.

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.

    Quite simply, through his company, his unwavering passion and extraordinary vision, Steve Jobs has enabled myself, and many other media professionals, to pursue their careers and make a living in all areas of media. Coupled with the professional products, he has enriched the lives of myself and the world over, with the other devices, that we cannot live without. Thank you so much Steve. RIP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 229.

    Until Steve Jobs we did not know we needed it. A sheep maybe, made my life easier and giving me more time for my family definitely.

    Build it and they will come.

    iRIP Steve Jobs

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    Not neccessarily - does anyone know of Fred Shuttlesworth? No, and that is my point. A man who lived a life and did things to ACTUALLY change the world, and succeeded to some degree, died with little or no public tribute. compared to a CEO of a company that made designer gadgets

  • rate this

    Comment number 227.

    I don't consider myself a fan of Apple or their products, but their influence in the World of technology is there for all to see and deserves a great deal of respect -- a respect largely owed to Steve Jobs.


  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    Tragic that a man dies in his mid 50s as a result of cancer.Very sad for all who knew him.
    However he did contribute to a culture where people isolate themselves in public (iPlayers) and he was behind that dreadful word APP. Watch two people in a restuarant nominally having a meal together then look under the table. Tweeting! Mr Jobs you are to blame for a lot of society's ills.

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.

    Apple products will be so much more desirable to the hipsters now that Jobs is underground.

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    Just seen on BBC 6 o'clock news that the BBC will be asking the public where to they should make cuts... Maybe the "BBC Apple Fan Club" could go - couple thousand jobs there then...

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    Thank you and god bless you Steve... you made my life easier ... I have used Macs for my work the last 20 years... Tried using PC's and they left me cold. The Mac is so user friendly... hooked ... thank you

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    He may have achieved a lot, but i guess the down ratings are against the sycophantic Apple cult-ness of it all. He was a successful man, but he was not the messiah. Some perspective would be good:

    It's really sad that a man has died. However, the outpouring of grief and adulation is embarrassing. Apple is all about profit. Its not a humanitarian organisation or a charity"

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    208. extrabull
    @ coalmoore
    "Brightly coloured machines that do the very same thing as other electrics in their categories" True, but in the same way as a Ferrari does the same thing as a Ford Cortina
    But a Cortina doesn't pretend to be the better or costs more than a Ferrari. Whereas the i-thingy did. (That's the cortina in case anyone's confused)

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.

    A great man who simply made the difference. Thank you very much for improving our lives.

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    Editors please note: Somebody is rating down pro-Apple or pro-Steve comments. How pathetic! I suspect the success of Apple has also created a group, albeit a small on that is envious of innovation. As they say in my village, people attack trees that have fruits on them, not the ones that have nothing. Thank you Steve.


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