Steve Jobs Dies at 56, A Look Back to World’s Most Valuable Technology Man

Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American computer entrepreneur and inventor. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs also previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney. He was credited in Toy Story (1995) as an executive producer.

On August 24, 2011, Jobs announced his resignation from his role as Apple’s CEO. In his letter of resignation, Jobs strongly recommended that the Apple executive succession plan be followed and Tim Cook be named as his successor. Per his request, Jobs was appointed chairman of Apple’s board of directors. On October 5, 2011, Apple announced that Jobs had died at the age of 56.

A Look Back to his Life


Steve Jobs was a college dropout who built computers in his parents’ garage in the mid-1970s with a friend, Steve Wozniak. They founded what is now Apple Inc. in 1976 to sell their creations. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, surpassed Microsoft Corp. in 2010 to become the world’s most valuable technology company. Jobs, who co-founded Apple Inc., is shown in 1969 in his freshman yearbook photo from  Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif. Photographer: Ryan Anson/Bloomberg


Jobs graduates from Homestead High School, above, the Cupertino school that is also the alma mater of Wozniak, his future business partner. Jobs enrolls at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and drops out after one semester. “The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting,” he said during a June 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. Photographer: Ryan Anson/Bloomberg

1977 – The Beginning of Apple

Jobs and Steve Wozniak officially began Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. The co-founders are seen here in April, 1977 at the first West Coast Computer Fair, where the Apple II computer debuted, in Brooks Hall in San Francisco. Photographer: Tom Munnecke/Getty Images


Jobs as he introduces the new Apple II, which becomes one of the first successful personal computers. Jobs’ girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, gives birth to a girl the next year, Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Chrisann raises Lisa mainly on her own. Jobs later reconciles with Lisa. Photographer: Apple Computers Inc.


Jobs with an Apple II computer in 1977. Three years later Apple goes public at $22 a share. Adjusted for splits since then, the initial public offering price is $2.75. Apple closes on the day of his death at $378.25. Photographer: Ted Thai/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

1984 – Introducing the Macintosh

Apple announces the new Macintosh computer with an ad that airs only once, during the Super Bowl. The ad shows a woman throw a hammer at a giant screen as a voice reads, “On January 24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh and you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’” Above, Jobs announcing the Macintosh computer at a shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984. Photographer: Terry Schmitt/UPI, via Newscom

1984 – Shareholders Meeting

The Mac, which sells for $2,500, becomes the first commercially successful personal computer to have a graphical user interface and mouse. Above, jobs leans on the new Macintosh personal computer following a shareholder’s meeting Jan. 24, 1984 in Cupertino, Calif. The Macintosh was priced at $2,495. Photographer: Paul Sakuma/AP


Jobs unveils Apple Computer’s new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California. He is just a year from leaving his job at Apple amidst a power struggle and starting a new company, NeXT Computer Inc., which builds high-powered educational computers. Photographer: Cindy Charles/Liaison


Jobs answers a question at an interview in New York City in 1984. Just one year later, Jobs is stripped of responsibilities amid a power struggle with Chief Executive Officer John Sculley and resigns as chairman. He tells the board: “I’ve been thinking a lot and it’s time for me to get on with my life. It’s obvious that I’ve got to do something. I’m 30 years old,” according to Sculley’s book, “Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple.” Photographer: Andy Freeberg/Getty Images

1987 – With Ross Perot

Jobs had already bought George Lucas’s computer-graphics shop for $10 million and renamed it Pixar Inc. when Ross Perot finances a new venture, NeXT Computer Inc. Jobs is seen here with Ross Perot in January, 1987. Photographer: by Matthew Naythons/Liaison

1989 – NeXT

Jobs and David Norman, president of Businessland, a computer retailer, beside a NeXT work station in San Francisco in March 1989. Photographer: Paul Sakuma/AP


Jobs with a NeXT work station in 1990. Photographer: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

1991 – At the UNIX expo

Above, Jobs, then of NeXT Computer Inc., delivers his keynote address during the UNIX expo at the Javits Convention Center in New York City in October, 1991. That year, he marries Laurene Powell at a hotel in Yosemite National Park. Their first child, Reed, is born in September, followed by daughters Erin in 1995 and Eve in 1998. Photographer: Richard Drew/AP


Jobs speaks to the public during the UNIX expo at the Javits Convention Center. Just two years later, NeXT decides to stop making computer workstations and lays off more than half of its 540 employees. Photographer: Richard Drew/AP

Becoming a Billionaire

Jobs became a billionaire on Nov. 29, 1995, when a small digital studio he bought in 1986, Pixar Animation Studios, went public to a storm of investor demand. In its first trading day, investors gave Pixar, the studio that made”Toy Story,” a market value of $1.46 billion. Disney bought the company in 2006 and Jobs became a Disney board member, as well as Disney’s largest shareholder. Photographer: Kristy Macdonald/AP


Jobs walks the beach with Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison to discuss buying Apple and Jobs later tells The New York Times, “I decided I’m not a hostile-takeover kind of guy.” Photo: Anne Knudsen/liaison/Getty

1996 – Jobs, Back at Apple

Jobs and then CEO Gil Amelio at a news conference at Apple headquarters in Cupertino on Dec. 20, 1996. Apple bought Jobs’ NeXT Software, and Jobs returned to lead the company he had co-founded. Amelio left Apple several months later. Photographer: Paul Sakuma

1998 – At the Cause Conference

Jobs announces at Macworld that Apple has returned to profitability after more than a year of losses, and the shares jump 19 percent. Above, Jobs gives the keynote address at the Cause Conference on Dec. 9, 1998 in Seattle. Photographer: Daniel Sheehan/Liaison

1998 – Debut of the iMac

Apple unveils the iMac, a $1,299 all-in-one PC encased in a translucent, curvy box. It’s the first of many “i” products, including the clamshell-shaped iBook that comes out the next year. Above, Jobs, holding an iMac Computer. Photographer: Moshe Brakha/AP

1999 – The iBook

Jobs holds up an iBook after his keynote address at the Macworld Expo in New York on July 21, 1999. The computers, priced at $1,599, came in two colors: tangerine and blueberry. Photographer: Bebeto Matthews/AP

2000 – The Cube

After 2 1/2 years as interim CEO, Jobs officially assumes the helm and receives a long, standing ovation at Macworld. He shows off the Mac OS X operating system, which is similar to the software he developed at NeXT. “Apple will be one of the 10 most profitable Internet companies in the next 10 years,” Jobs tells the gathering. Above, Steve Jobs describes Apple’s new Power Macintosh G4, an 8-inch cube computer, during his keynote address at MacWorld Expo in New York on July 19, 2000. Photographer: Richard Drew/AP

2002 – Producers Guild Award

Jobs and fellow producers Ed Catmull and John Lassiter hold their trophies at the 13th Annual Producers Guild Awards March 3, 2002 in Los Angeles. The three were awarded the Vanguard Award at the event. Photographer: Vince Bucci/Getty Images

2002 – The Flat Screen iMac

Jobs introduces the new flat screen iMac at Macworld in San Francisco in January, 2002, just months after Apple introduced the iPod, its first portable digital-music player. Earlier in 2001, Apple had opened the first Apple retail stores, in McLean, Virginia, and Glendale, California. Photographer: Paul Sakuma/AP

2003 – iChat

Jobs talks to former Vice President Al Gore on the new iChat Video at the AppleWorldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 23, 2003. In October, Jobs is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer affecting the pancreas and tries to treat the illness by switching to a special diet to avoid surgery, according to a 2008 article in Fortune magazine that cites people familiar with the matter. Apple decided not to tell investors after consulting lawyers, the magazine reports. Photographer: Susan Ragan/AP


Jobs, then 49, discloses the cancer for the first time, saying he had successful surgery to extract a tumor and won’t need chemotherapy or radiation. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook runs Apple until Jobs returns to work in September. Above, Jobs at the 2004 Worldwide Developers Conference June 28, 2004 in San Francisco, where he announced a new line of flat panel cinema displays, including the first 30-inch model designed for the personal computer. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

2004 – The Launch of the iTunes Store

Jobs and singer Alicia Keys at the launch of the Apple iTunes Music Store in London on June 15, 2004. The U.S. store had opened in 2003 and sold about 1 million tracks in the first week. “You’ll fall in love with music so much again that you’ll spend some money,” Jobs says. Photographer: Randall Quan/Bloomberg News

2005 – The Video iPod

Jobs with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis during a special event announcing a new iPod that plays video, a new iMac and new version of iTunes that allows people to purchase videos and television shows on October 12, 2005 in San Jose, Calif. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

2005 – With His Wife, Laurene

Jobs with his wife, Laurene Powell at the The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2005. Photographer: Brian Ach/WireImage

2005 – Speaking at Stanford

Jobs speaks at graduation ceremonies at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, Calif., on June 12, 2005. He says he was diagnosed with cancer about a year earlier and that doctors told him he wouldn’t live longer than six months. The cancer turned out to be treatable with surgery “and I’m fine now,” he says. The full text of his speech can be found here. Photographer: Jack Arent/Palo Alto Daily News/AP

Speaking at Stanford

At the ceremony, Jobs said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Photographer: Jack Arent/Palo Alto Daily News/AP


Jobs sprints into Apple’s headquarters shortly before the start of the company’s annual shareholders meeting on April 21, 2005. Jobs told investors that sales of the iPod digital music player will continue to help sell Macintosh personal computers to users who have never owned an Apple computer. Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg News.

2005 – iTunes Store Wins Over Madonna

Jobs chats with Madonna via video conference on Sept. 7, 2005, in San Francisco. Madonna, who had formerly resisted the iTunes store, announced that she would begin selling all 15 of her albums in the online store. Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg News

2006 – One Billion and Counting

Jobs announces the sale of the one billionth song sold on iTunes on Feb. 28, 2006. Walt Disney Co. announces it will buy Pixar. The $8.06 billion deal, completed in May, makes Jobs the largest shareholder of Disney and a board member. Photographer: Paul Sakuma/AP

2007 – On the Red Carpet

Jobs arrives at the 79th Academy Awards in Hollywood on Feb. 25, 2007. Photographer: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

2007 – Introducing the iPhone

Jobs takes the stage at Macworld to show off the new iPhone and announces Apple is dropping “Computer” from its name, highlighting its reliance on consumer electronics. Apple shares close at a record high on optimism the iPhone will boost sales by more than $1 billion. The first iPhone costs $499 for a 4-gigabyte version. Photographer: Eric Slomanson/Bloomberg News.

2008 – Spirit of Life Awards

Gavin Rossdale, Gwen Stefani, Steve Jobs and Jimmy Iovine attend the 2008 Spirit Of Life Award Dinner on Oct. 15, 2008 in Santa Monica, Calif. That same year, Jobs, introducing new iPod media players at an event in San Francisco, still looks thin. “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” he joked. Photographer: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

2010 – The iPhone 4

Jobs introduced the redesigned iPhone 4 on June 7, 2010, delivering a 24 percent thinner body and 100 new features. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

2010 – iTunes Upgrade

Jobs announces upgrades for the iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, iPod Touch, and iTunes at a press conference in San Francisco, on Sept. 1, 2010. Photographer:Ryan Anson/AFP/ Getty Images

2010 – The iPad

Jobs holds an Apple iPad during its debut at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco on Jan. 27, 2010. Apple Inc., trying to expand beyond the Macintosh, iPod and iPhone, introduced the iPad, a tablet computer with a touch screen. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

2010 – Revisiting the Past

Jobs speaks in front of an old photograph of himself and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak during the launch of the Apple iPad tablet. Apple sells 7.3 million of the tablet computers in their debut quarter. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

2010 – On the Red Carpet

Jobs at the 82nd Academy Awards show on March 7, 2010. Photographer: Lisa O’Connor/ZUMA Press

2011 – The iPad 2

Jobs emerges from medical leave to introduce the iPad 2 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 2, 2011 in San Francisco. The appearance assures some investors that he still participates in decision-making. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

2011 – Jobs Steps Down as CEO Months Before His Death

On Aug. 24, 2001 Jobs announced his resignation as Apple’s CEO. The board installed former chief operating officer Tim Cook as the new chief executive. On Oct. 5, Apple announces the death of Steve Jobs, saying his “brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives.” Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg