Washington: Steve Jobs,
the man who began tinkering with gadgets in his garage and then
went on to power the iPod, iPad and iPhone that became a part of
so many lives across the globe, has died leaving behind legions of
fans. The tech legend was 56.
The end came in Palo Alto, California, Wednesday just a day after
Tim Cook, the new CEO of world's leading tech company unveiled the
iPhone 4S, a faster version of its best-selling smartphone that
includes a virtual "personal assistant" you can talk to.
Tributes poured in from all over the world with President Barack
Obama putting him among "the greatest of American innovators",
while rival Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates acknowledged his
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, a country where thousands
of young techies held him up as an icon of their generation, said
he was "saddened" by the death of Jobs and described him as an
"innovative man who had taught the world new ways to communicate
Jobs is survived by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter with Chrisann
Brennan, wife Laurene Powell, and their three children, Erin, Reed
The hard-driving Jobs, who resigned in August as CEO amid health
concerns, pioneered the concept of the personal computer and of
navigating them by clicking onscreen images with a mouse to lead a
cultural transformation in the digital age.
In more recent years, he introduced the iPod portable music
player, the iPhone and the iPad tablet - all of which changed how
we consume content in the digital age.
"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of
countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,"
Apple said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better
because of Steve."
Jobs who had battled cancer for years, had a secret liver
transplant in 2009 in Tennessee during a six-month medical leave
of absence from Apple.
Born Feb 24, 1955, to Syrian Muslim immigrant Abdulfattah "John"
Jandali and Joanne Carole Schieble and then adopted, Jobs grew up
in Cupertino, California, which would become home to Apple's
When he was 21, Jobs teamed with Steve Wozniak and two other men
to launch Apple Computer Inc., building their first commercial
product, the Apple 1, in Jobs' parents' garage in 1976.
Jobs sold his Volkswagen van to help finance the venture. The
primitive computer, priced at $666.66, had no keyboard or display,
and customers had to assemble it themselves.
The following year, Apple unveiled the Apple II computer at the
inaugural West Coast Computer Faire. The machine was a hit, and
the personal computing revolution was under way.
Apple's pioneering Macintosh computer launched in early 1984. The
boxy beige Macintosh sold well, but the demanding Jobs clashed
frequently with colleagues, and in 1986, he was ousted from Apple
after a power struggle.
Then came a 10-year hiatus during which he founded NeXT Computer,
whose pricey, cube-shaped computer workstations never caught on
In 1996, Apple bought NeXT, returning Jobs to the then-struggling
company he had co-founded. Within a year, he was running Apple
And in 2001, he took the stage to introduce the original iPod, the
little white device that transformed portable music and
kick-started Apple's furious comeback. Thus began what the CNN
called one of the most remarkable second acts in the history of
Over the next decade, Jobs wowed launch-event audiences, and
consumers, with one game-changing hit after another: iTunes
(2003), the iPhone (2007), the App Store (2008), and the iPad
Apple fans across the globe were grief-stricken Thursday on
learning about the tech wizard's death.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote, "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."
Microsoft co-founder 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".
Not many know that Jobs had an India connect. A quest for
spiritualism took him to the mountains in what is now Uttarakhand
in the 1970s with his friend Dan Kottke. Many decades later, as
Jobs lost the battle against cancer, thousands of Indians mourned
In a curious coincidence, he died the very day that the Indian
government unveiled its $50 tablet. The tech revolution he had
helped start would now help thousands of underprivileged students
R.I.P. tech guru Steve.
(Arun Kumar can be
contacted at email@example.com)