Just as the technology world began to settle down following the rumoured iPhone5 and actual iPhone4S announcement, news on a bigger scale broke. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, had died. This story wasn’t tucked away in the tech sections; this was front-page material. His work at Apple had defined an era, and he himself had become something of an icon for our generation.
Much as Apple’s products have remained cool, stylish and for everybody, Jobs became the accessible face of consumer electronics. As a man who was given up for adoption, who dropped out of college, took LSD in India, and was fired then reinstated by the company he founded, there was always a sense of the underdog with Steve Jobs, and we were rooting for him.
Over the years the bespectacled man in trademark turtleneck and faded denim would stand on the Apple stage and almost casually introduce product after product that would change the way we did things. As President Obama has said, “There may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”
Jobs’ work wasn’t limited to Apple, though. In 1986 he bought a company that manufactured animation hardware, renamed it Pixar and shifted its focus to making its own computer animations. In 1995 Pixar launched Toy Story and the rest is history. Though now owned by Disney, the studio’s work continues to bear the same mark of quality, style and accessibility that Jobs instilled at Apple.
The Jobs influence will also live on in the written word, as it was he who oversaw the design and naming of the type fonts Chicago (synonymous with the early Apple Macintosh), Geneva and others; the product of a calligraphy course from his post-college-dropout years.
The last eight years of Jobs’ life were blighted by pancreatic cancer. At first he kept it quiet, a secret to all but his closest Apple colleagues. In keeping with his Buddhist beliefs, he tried alternative therapies before agreeing to surgery in 2004. He returned to Apple’s helm, launching the enviably lightweight Macbook Air in 2008. By now, the turtleneck and jeans hung from a more gaunt figure.
After three periods of extended sick leave, he left his position as Apple CEO in August this year. He died in the early hours of this morning, aged 56. Jobs leaves behind a wife, four children and an enduring legacy across the worlds of technology, business, entertainment, design, entrepreneurialism and more. Thank you, Steve.
This article was written on an iMac
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