Apple mastermind Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.
ABC News reports that the techological icon, who brought the world such life-changing products as the iPod, died on Wednesday of pancreatic cancer.
Steve’s death comes on the heels of the launch of Apple’s newest product, the iPhone 4s. His passing was announced on Apple.com’s homepage with a picture of the creative genius and the words "Steve Jobs 1955-2011" written beside his headshot.
Born in 1955, Steve founded Apple with his friend Steve Wozniack in 1976 by building a computer in his garage. Nine years later he was fired from the company, but he returned in 1997. In 2000, he was named permanent CEO of Apple.
Over the course of the next decade, Steve would go on to introduce the iMac, the iPhone, Mac OS X, MacBook Air (a laptop so light and slim that it can fit in a manilla envelope) and the iPad. Steve stepped down as CEO of Apple back in August due to issues with his health.
News of Steve’s passing spread quickly and was met with an outpouring of condolences from people of all walks of life.
"Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "Steve was among the greatest of American innovators—brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it."
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniack told ABC News that he was "shocked and disturbed." He compared the tragic development to the death of other icons. "You get shocked when people you know die," Steve said. "And this was closer to when John Lennon died, or JFK or Martin Luther King."
Meanwhile Microsoft founder and CEO, Bill Gates, whose PC products often went toe-to-toe with Apple’s own, expressed his regrets on Steve’s untimely end.
"I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death," Bill said in a statement. "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come."
Bill continued, "For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely. "
Many of Steve’s customers gathered outside of Apple stores all over the country to remember him. Mourners can also send their condolences to firstname.lastname@example.org.