World mourns ‘visionary and genius’ Jobs

The world is mourning the death of the man behind Apple Inc., a great visionary who forever changed the world of technology. Steve Jobs died “peacefully” at 56 after several years battling pancreatic cancer.

Tributes and words of condolence from politicians, celebrities, grateful users and even rival technology industry leaders followed shortly after his death on Wednesday.

"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being," the text posted on Apple official website read. "Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."

Legendary entrepreneur and loving husband and father died peacefully on Wednesday surrounded by his family members. He had been suffering from a pancreatic cancer since 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009.

"We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief," Jobs’s family said in a statement.

US President Barack Obama said "Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. 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."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also extended his condolences to Jobs’s family and fans, saying that “those like Steve Jobs change our world.” In 2010, the Russian leader met with the former Apple CEO during his visit to Silicon Valley, where Jobs presented him the latest iPhone4.

Once Job’s main rival in the world of computing, Microsoft-cofounder Bill Gates immediately issued a written statement reading that he and Jobs "have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives."

"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," Gates added. "For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely," Gates said.

Another digital tycoon, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, also reacted to the death of the former Apple CEO.

"Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend," Zuckerberg said in a statement. "Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

Devoted fans paid homage to Steve Jobs outside Apple stores around the world. In New York City, people laid candles and left flowers and apples. In San Francisco, mourners raised their iPhones at a vigil in memory of its creator.

The admirers of his work are planning to mark Steve Jobs Day on Friday, October 14. They have created a website which calls the fans to look like Steve that day by wearing black turtlenecks and sharing about how his work has affected them.

‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’

As a 21-year-old college dropout from a working-class family, Steve Jobs, founded Apple with his friend Steve Wozniak in his parents’ garage in 1976. Within 10 years, Apple had turned into a US$2 billion company.

From 1976’s Apple I computer to the latest iPads and iPhones, Steve Jobs forever changed the way millions of people experience music, movies and mobile communication.

In 1996, he returned to Apple after leaving the company in 1985 following a power struggle with CEO John Sculley. He became its CEO in 2000, introducing the iPod in 2001, iPhone in 2007 and iPad in 2010.

In 2010, Apple surpassed Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable tech company.

Due to ailing health after several years battling with pancreatic cancer, Jobs announced on August 24, 2011 that he was stepping down as Apple's chief executive, passing the reins to Tim Cook.

According to Jobs, remembering about death was very important for him and for his work. He said “death is very likely the single best invention of Life.”

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life,” he said during his landmark commencement address at Stanford University in 2005.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,” he said.

Stay hungry, stay foolish,” he quoted the farewell message by The Whole Earth Catalogue as his final wishes to the graduates.