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Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs Dies

October 5, 2011

Apple co-founder and former chief executive Steve Jobs has died. Jobs was 56 years old, had battled pancreatic cancer since 2003, and underwent a liver transplant in 2009.

The technology company issued a statement on its website late Wednesday, saying the company has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. The Apple statement said "those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor."

The statement also said his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Jobs' resigned as chief executive of the technology giant in August.

Jobs, a college dropout, was born February 24, 1955, growing up in a part of California that later became known as Silicon Valley, a center of the U.S. technology industry.

In 1974, Jobs left his position as a technician with a video game maker and traveled to India to find spiritual enlightenment. When he returned, he and friend Steve Wozniak began work in Jobs' garage, developing the first Apple computer.

The two founded the Apple computer company. At one point in his career, Jobs left Apple following a dispute with the company's other top executives. He returned in 1997, after the company had gone to the edge of collapse. It reinvented itself, introducing a new line of computers known as the iMacs.

Apples fortunes were transformed when it shifted its focus away from being a personal computer manufacturer into a company producing products like the iPhones, iPads and iPods. It is now one of the world's most valuable companies.

Jobs' death comes one day after Apple unveiled a highly anticipated new iPhone - this one with the ability to respond to spoken commands. The device is equipped with a higher-quality camera and the ability to synchronize information among different Apple devices, updating them all at once.

A timeline of Steve Jobs' life and career

February 24, 1955: Steven Paul Jobs is born in California. He grows up in the area that is to become known as Silicon Valley.

1974: Jobs works as a technician with the video game maker Atari. He saves money and then travels to India to find spiritual enlightenment.

April 1, 1976: Jobs and Steve Wozniak found Apple Computer after working on the design of their first computer in the garage of Jobs' home. They introduce the Apple I.

January 24, 1984: Apple introduces the Macintosh, an all-in-one desktop machine that is widely credited with revolutionizing the personal computer industry.

September 1985: Jobs resigns from Apple following a long-running dispute with other top executives.

1986: Jobs forms a new software company called NeXT, Inc., and buys a computer animation studio from Stars Wars creator George Lucas. The studio, Pixar, makes some of the most popular computer-animated films, including Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo.

1997: NeXT struggles and is bought by Apple, which also has been losing money. Jobs returns to Apple and eventually to his role as chief executive.

1998: Under Jobs' leadership, Apple introduces its newest personal computer, the iMac, and returns to profitability.

October 2001: Apple introduces the iPod, promoting the personal digital music player as "1,000 songs in your pocket."

April 28, 2003: Apple launches the iTunes Music Store, an online store selling 200,000 songs for 99 cents apiece. The company also introduces an upgraded iPod that is thinner and lighter, and capable of holding up to 7,500 songs.

August 2004: Jobs is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and undergoes surgery.

December 2004: iPod sales hit the 10 million mark. The number of songs downloaded from the iTunes store tops 200 million. October 2005: Apple introduces a new iPod that plays videos in addition to music. The iTunes stores sells one million videos in less than three weeks.

January 2007: Apple introduces the iPhone.

September 2007: Apple introduces the iPod Touch, which uses a touch-screen interface and has wireless networking capabilities.

June 2008: Apple introduces an updated iPhone, capable of running software applications - apps - that are designed by other companies, creating a new industry of phone apps.

July 2008: Apple creates the App Store as the new iPhone 3G goes on sale. More than 10 million apps are downloaded during the store's first few days.

February 2009: Jobs begins a six-month medical leave of absence. It is later revealed that he underwent a liver transplant.

January 2010: Apple introduces its first touch screen tablet computer, the iPad.

January 2011: Jobs takes a second medical leave of absence but tells Apple employees he will remain involved in major strategic decisions.

March 2011: Jobs appears at an Apple event to introduce the iPad 2. The Financial Times says Apple's stock rises about 2 percent in the minutes after he begins speaking.

August 10, 2011: Apple briefly surpasses oil company ExxonMobil to become the world's most valuable company.

August 24, 2011: Jobs resigns as Apple chief executive. Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, takes over as CEO.

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