On October 5th of 2011, Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, Inc. and creator of many cool, hand held digital devices, died of cancer at the age of 56.
Steve Jobs was an entrepreneurial engineer and a driven perfectionist who became the CEO of Apple, Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios. The devices he created or helped create include the iPod (2001), the iPhone (2007), the iPad (2010), and the Mac.
Steve Jobs was born to a pair of unmarried graduate students on February 24th of 1955 in San Francisco, California. He was adopted by a man named Paul Jobs and his wife, Clara Jobs of Silicon Valley. At the age of 13, Steve Jobs was offered employment by Bill Hewlett of Hewlett Packard.
Steve was a bit of a drifter in his early adult life, attending Reed college in Oregon for one semester before dropping out, then traveling over to India to seek enlightenment in the study of Zen Buddhism. Around this time, Jobs briefly worked for a pioneering game maker called Atari.
In 1976, Jobs co-founded Apple Inc. with his friend, Steve Wozniak. The idea was to sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer. They started the business in the garage at the home of Steve jobs' parents. In 1977, they launched the Apple II, which became the first popular personal computer. In 1980, the company called Apple went public, and Steve Jobs became a multi-millionaire at the age of 25. Four years later, Apple produced the Macintosh, which allowed users to point and click a mouse, rather than having to type in commands. This new development further revolutionized the user experience.
In 1985, Jobs left Apple over a power struggle, and founded his own company, called NeXT. The World Wide Web was constructed using a NeXT workstation, but the machine was too costly to gain much of an audience.
In 1986, Jobs acquired a small computer graphics studio from George Lucas, and renamed it Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar produced Toy Story, the first completely computer animated feature film ever. After several more blockbuster hit movies, the Walt Disney Company bought Pixar for 7 billion dollars.
By this time, Apple was going bankrupt without Steve Jobs, so in 1997, Apple purchased NeXT, and signed on Steve Jobs as an advisor. Steve Jobs turned the Apple business completely around, transforming it into one of the world's most valuable companies.
Despite medical issues dating back as far as 2000, Steve Jobs continued his pioneering work at Apple, Inc. As he made presentations of his work, people were starting to notice his gaunt appearance. Some speculated that he might have cancer.
Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor in 2003. He had the tumor removed in 2004, and a liver transplant in 2009.
On August 24th of 2011, Steve Jobs announced his retirement. Six weeks later, he died at his home in Palo Alto, California, leaving his wife and four children to spend his net worth of more than 7 billion dollars.