On Oct. 6, news spread that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs had died. Of course, many people probably heard about his demise on products he invented, from the iPhone to the iPad. The news of his death comes just 42 days after Jobs formally announced his plans to step down as the chief executive of Apple. "I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know," he said at the time. In retrospect, there's little doubt now why he chose to leave his perch atop the computing giant. It was just seven years ago he went public with his fight against cancer.
Jobs is survived by his wife and four children. But in addition to his immediate family, he also leaves behind a world whose current operating system is dictated by his vision. Throughout his career, Jobs celebrated both the sleek and simple. We'll never listen to music, type on a keyboard or talk on a telephone in the same way because of him.
Below is a timeline of the major events of Jobs' career.
San Francisco-born Steve Jobs enters Reed College in Portland, Ore. His undergrad life follows the path of his high school years, during which he attended lectures at Hewlett-Packard's Palo Alto headquarters. While spending a summer working for Hewlett-Packard, Jobs meets Steve Wozniak, an engineering dropout of the University of California, Berkeley.
Jobs drops out of Reed, and soon begins working for Atari, designing computer games along with Wozniak. He continues to audit classes at Reed, including one course on calligraphy that would expose Jobs to many of the fonts that would appear throughout Apple products.
He travels to India, and embraces Buddhism. He credits the experience for infusing in him an appreciation for counterculture.
Realizing that he's not interested in working as a computer technician, Jobs asks Wozniak to design a personal computer. He sees himself more as the business mind of the new enterprise. He sells his Volkswagen to start new computer company with Wozniak.
Apple is officially founded after two years of working out of Jobs' family garage. He sells the first Apple computers to the Byte Shop in Mountain View, Calif., and chooses the name Apple because it's his favorite fruit.
After years of experimentation and staff turnover, Apple introduces the Macintosh. The Macintosh sets the modern standard for computing, featuring a windows interface, picture icons representing programs and a mouse.
Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple, saying before board meeting: "I've been thinking a lot and it's time for me to get on with my life." The decision to leave was made after Jobs got caught up in a power struggle within the company.
After initially planning to work on issues related to higher education, Jobs launches the NeXT Company in a bid to defeat Apple. With NeXT, Jobs aimed to create the first "interpersonal" computer that would enable users to interface with each other directly.
With costs proving prohibitive, and a debt of $250 million, NeXT closes its hardware division.
Following the end of its hardware division, NeXT refocuses on software. The company pioneers object-oriented programming (OOP), which allowed programmers to write complex software programs in a fraction of the normal time. Following this advance. NeXT is bought by Apple, and Jobs is once again working for the company he founded.
Jobs reassumes the role of Apple CEO. Apple unveils the iMac, which updates the original Macintosh.
Apple releases the iBook, which sees Apple pioneer the low-cost laptop.
The first iPod is released.
Jobs is treated for cancer after a tumor is found in his pancreas.
The first iPhone is released.
Jobs takes a leave of absence citing health reasons. The leave lasts six months.
The iPad is released in the same year that Apple overtakes Microsoft as the country's most valuable tech company.
Not even two months after leaving Apple, Steve Jobs dies at 56 years of age. Tributes flow in from world leaders including President Barack Obama and from titans of the technology world like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Jobs is remembered for having the vision of the digital world we now live in.
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