Steve Jobs Dead at 56

October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs, the head of Apple who invented the iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad, not to mention the very idea of the personal computer, has died. He was 56. He is survived by his wife, Laurene Powell, and four children.

Jobs was instrumental in reinventing everything from the music industry to computer animation. His career began in a garage with Steve Wozniak, developing the first Apple computer. The Apple line would be an '80s success story, using a graphic interface instead of the standard command line interface.

Apple became famous for its clever advertising, such as the famous "1984" ad directed by Ridley Scott. It pioneered a new field of smart, carefully aimed advertising.

Jobs left Apple in 1985 and spent years attempting to defeat the company he started with his company NeXT, also acquiring a computer animation company from George Lucas along the way.

That company, Pixar, would be his entry into the world of Hollywood. Pixar would ultimately put Jobs on the board of the Walt Disney company and give him the corporate cache to rejoin Apple in 1997, taking over as CEO.

From there, Jobs began a decade of success, first rescuing Apple's computer business before introducing the iPod and then iTunes, building on each success to the iPhone and the iPad, currently two of the most popular products in the world. In the process, he turned a struggling company into the single biggest corporation in the world, even as he was battling the pancreatic cancer that would ultimately lead to his death.

"It felt a lot like you just heard that, you know, John Lennon got shot, or JFK, or Martin Luther King." said close friend and co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak. Bill Gates, one of Jobs' fiercest intellectual and business rivals, said "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." Even the President himself noted that "He transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world."

We here at Spike would like to extend our condolences to the Jobs family at this difficult time.

Photo: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images News