'Happy birthday' Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Had Steve Jobs been alive today, it would have been his 57th birthday. The Silicon Valley icon who gave the world the iPod and the iPhone, died on October 5, 2011.

Apple Inc co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, counted among the greatest American CEOs of his generation, died after a years-long and highly public battle with cancer and other health issues.

A survivor of a rare form of pancreatic cancer, he was deemed the heart and soul of a company that rivals Exxon Mobil as the most valuable in America.

Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve," Apple said in a statement announcing Jobs' passing.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

Jobs' health had been a controversial topic for years. His battle with cancer had been a deep concern to Apple fans, investors and the company's board alike. In past years, even board members have confided to friends their concern that Jobs, in his quest for privacy, wasn't being forthcoming enough with directors about the true condition of his health.

Now, despite investor confidence in Cook, who has stood in for his boss during three leaves of absence, there remain concerns about whether the company would stay a creative force to be reckoned with beyond the next year or so without its founder and visionary at the helm.

The news triggered an immediate outpouring of sympathy. Among others, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he will miss Jobs immensely.

A college dropout, Buddhist and son of adoptive parents, Jobs started Apple Computer with friend Steve Wozniak in the late 1970s. The company soon introduced the Apple 1 computer.

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