The co-founder of the US technology giant Apple Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56.
Surrounded by his family in California, he had been battling cancer for some time.
Charismatic and a visionary, he was counted among the greatest business leaders of his generation, becoming the face of the world’s largest technology corporation.
The silicon valley icon developed the concept of the personal computer and gave the world the iPod and the iPhone. He resigned as Apple’s CEO last August due to ill health, handing over the reigns to Tim Cook, the current chief executive. The company said in a statement on its website: “Apple has lost a visionary genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.”
Politicians and business leaders paid tribute to the man: US President Barack Obama said he “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.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates said Jobs’ inventions would have a “profound impact” that would “be felt for many generations to come.”
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that “America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein.”
After news of his death broke, Apple fans laid flowers and candles outside the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Jobs had a liver transplant in 2009 and his health had been the subject of much speculation in recent years. He took medical leave in January, before resigning as Apple chief executive six weeks ago.
Jobs’ personal fortune is estimated at 5.3 billion euros, according to Forbes magazine. It is unclear how his estate will be handled. He is survived by his wife Laurene and his four children.