updated 10/06/2011 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/06/2011 AT 1:45 PM ET
In the public eye, Steve Jobs was a cutting-edge visionary with a knack for developing user-friendly technology. He was the man in the black turtleneck with an estimated $5.5 billion fortune, that guy who asked consumers to make a choice – Mac or PC.
But quietly, the infallible creative force behind Apple had his own personal battle outside the office. Jobs, who died Wednesday at 56, struggled with pancreatic cancer since 2004.
After resigning from his position as CEO in August, Jobs remained in the company as chairman. His letter to the board announcing the change did not mention his health problems, but he alluded to them.
“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”
Jobs suffered from a rare form of pancreatic cancer called pancreatic neurodendocrine cancer. It’s typically a less aggressive form of pancreatic cancer, so patients may live longer, the L.A. Times reports. The average survival rate is more than three years, while some patients live up to 20.