updated 10/06/2011 AT 7:30 AM ET
•originally published 10/05/2011 AT 7:50 PM ET
Steve Jobs, the wizard behind Apple who put the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad into the hands of millions of religiously devoted consumers around the globe, died Wednesday.
He was 56 and had battled pancreatic cancer since 2004.
“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being,” the company said in a statement. “Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
In a separate statement, his family said, “Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family. … In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness.”
On Aug. 24, Jobs had announced his resignation as chief executive in an email to employees that was also made public.
In his message, he said he could “no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO,” and the company’s reins were handed over to chief operating officer Tim Cook.
In many respects, the news did not come as a complete shock.
On Jan. 17, 2011, Jobs had told the staff that he would be temporarily stepping away from the day-to-day management of the computer company he co-founded 34 years before.