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Apple founder Steve Jobs dies at 56

by Kelly MacNeil on October 6, 2011

Just days after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone, the company's former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died at the age of 56. Jobs had been battling pancreatic cancer for several years and leaves behind a legacy of innovation and inspiration.

His death was met with immediate tributes from people all over the world, ABC News reports, many of whom learned about it while using products that Jobs invented. His passing was announced in a short statement from Apple which included a tribute from current CEO Tim Cook.

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

President Barack Obama also shared his thoughts, praising Jobs' drive to be different and lauding his being "bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it."

Despite being diagnosed with cancer in 2004, Jobs continued to be the face of Apple throughout treatment, even as his health deteriorated. He stepped down from his post as CEO in August, handing over the reins to Cook.

Jobs started Apple with friend Steve Wozniak in his parents' garage when he was just 21 years old. The company grew so quickly that he was a multi-billionaire by the time he was 25. He eventually left the company in the mid-80s when he was 30, but came back to take the helm in the mid-90s to help Apple recover from its struggles.

In the years that followed, he helped do to the music industry what he did for personal computers by introducing the iPod, and several years later did the same with the iPhone. 

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