Steve Jobs

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer, the company said Wednesday. He was 56 years old.

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. 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's board of directors said in a statement. "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."

Immediately following his death, Apple also dedicated their homepage to Jobs, posting a picture of him next to his name and the dates 1955-2011.

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Jobs helped found Apple with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976 and played an integral part in developing the Macintosh computer. Introduced in 1984, the Mac became the first commercially successful computer with a graphics user interface.

Jobs left Apple in 1985, but returned to the company in 1996 when Apple bought out his other computer company, NeXT computer. Jobs helped Apple return to prominence with the introduction of iMac computers, iPod music players and the iTunes music store, the iPhone and most recently the iPad.

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Aside from his work at Apple, Jobs also owned Pixar and helped make the company one of the most successful movie studios. He served as an executive producer on Pixar's first hit, Toy Story, in 1995 and was placed on the Walt Disney Company's board of directors after Disney bought Pixar in 2006.

Jobs' health had been an issue since 2004, when he revealed he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had a whipple procedure, which successfully removed the tumor. However, Jobs took a six-month leave of absence in early 2009 for what he called a "hormone imbalance." He underwent a liver transplant that April and received an "excellent" prognosis.

Jobs officially announced his resignation from his post as CEO on Aug. 24, writing that he could "no longer meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple's CEO."

Jobs is survived by his wife, Laurene, and four children.