[pullquote quote=”Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like.” credit=”Steve Jobs”]Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman, and former chief executive officer of Apple Inc. passed today, he was 56 years old.
In August, Jobs tendered his resignation as CEO of the company he co-founded, and famously helmed twice, in a written statement:
“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple.”
A consumer technology leader with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, its family of iPod media players and iTunes media store, and its Mac computers and iLife and iWork application suites, Apple recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices. The company is currently readying the launch of its proprietary iCloud and only yesterday announced its latest update to its iPhone legacy, the iPhone 4Gs.
Jobs also co-founded and held CEO duties of Pixar Animation Studios, which created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. Pixar merged with The Walt Disney Company in 2006.
He is listed as either primary inventor or co-inventor in over 230 awarded patents or patent applications related to a range of technologies from actual computer and portable devices to user interfaces, touch-based interfaces, speakers, keyboards, power adapters, staircases, clasps, sleeves, lanyards and packages. After his resignation as Apple’s CEO, the New York Times characterized Steve Jobs as the Thomas Alva Edison of his times.
First recognized for his achievements in 1982 when TIME named the computer “Machine of the Year,” and Jobs “the most famous maestro of the micro,” he received the National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Two decades later he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2007 by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Also in 2007, Fortune magazine recognized Jobs as the “Most Powerful Person In Business,” then in 2009 went on to name him “CEO Of The Decade.”
Jobs was prominently featured in three films about the history of the personal computing industry: Triumph of the Nerds, Nerds 2.0.1 and most famously, Pirates of Silicon Valley - a 1999 docudrama that chronicles the rise of Apple and Microsoft, in which he was portrayed by actor Noah Wyle.
Both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at grandstanding, persuasion and salesmanship, a former colleague once suggested that Jobs “would have made an excellent King of France.” While his management style earned him the reputation during the nineties for being one of “America’s Toughest Bosses,” he was said to have mellowed in recent years and considered by his Pixar peers to be a mature individual who never meddled in the filmmakers’ creative process.
A proclaimed Buddhist and “pescatarian,” Jobs’ career in business and technology has lent much to the iconic imagery of the quirky, individualistic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who underscores the importance of design and understanding the essential role aesthetics play in public appeal. This life’s work driving forward the development of products that are both functional and elegant has earned him a globally devoted, and often cult-like, following.
Jobs is survived by his wife, four children and two sisters.