(CNET)    Apple Co-founder and Chairman Steve Jobs died today.  He was 56.

Steve Jobs had been suffering for many years a long hard battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.  Apple announced in January  that he would be taking an indeterminate medical leave of absence. Jobs then stepped  down as chief executive in late August, citing his inability to “meet my duties and expectations” stemming from his illness.

Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a  Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in  1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most  valuable technology company in the world with a market value of $351 billion.  Almost all that wealth has been created since Jobs’ return.

He was the reason many of us got into this industry, or even care about technology at all. He made the computer personal, and the smartphone fun. Bill Gates may have put a computer on every office desk, but it was Steve Jobs who put one in every dorm room and bedroom and living room. And then, years later, he repeated the trick, putting one in every bag and every pocket, thanks to the iPad and iPhone. If you use a computer or smartphone today, it is either one he created, or an imitation of his genius.

He changed the way movies are made, the way music is sold, the way stories are told, the very way we interact with the world around us. He helped us work, and gave us new ways to play. He was a myth made man.

Cultivating Apple’s countercultural sensibility and  a minimalist design ethic, Jobs rolled out one sensational product after  another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing  health.

He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist’s  obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he  upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries.

One of my more favorite Steve Jobs quotes was, “We used to dream about this stuff. Now we get to build it. It’s pretty great.” taken at the Keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference (June 2004). Steve helped us believe if you can dream it, it can come true. Steve Jobs was a true invetor and a pioneer of our times.

Goodbye, Mr. Jobs. We will miss you so very much.

Photos: The life of Steve Jobs



From Apple’s site if  you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email rememberingsteve@apple.com