|Photo taken on Oct. 5, 2011 shows photo of Steve Jobs on the front page of www.apple.com. Apple Board of Directors announced that co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Wu Jingdan)
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Steven Paul Jobs, Apple's co-founder and longtime CEO, and Silicon Valley legend, died at the age of 56 on Wednesday after seven years of fight with cancer.
Jobs, who suffered advanced pancreatic cancer since 2004, "died peacefully today surrounded by his family," Job's family said in a statement.
In a career spanning four decades, Jobs revolutionized computers and animated the movie and music industry while turning his personality into a business philosophy which is praised and worshiped by fans, entrepreneurs and political figures around the world.
In the late 1970s, with other co-founders, Jobs designed, developed and marketed Apple II series, one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers.
After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1984, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded computer platform development company NeXT. In 1996, Apple's acquisition of NeXT brought Jobs back to the company which was then close to bankruptcy. He started to serve as Apple CEO since 1997.
Under the leadership of Jobs, Apple wrote one of the greatest corporate comeback stories of all time. The company returned to glory and withstood the Internet bubble at the beginning of the century as well as the financial meltdown in recent years with its extremely popular consumer electronic products like iPod, iPhone and iPad by emphasizing design and aesthetics.
This August, Apple temporarily surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the world's most valuable company.
Jobs had also been CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which was acquired by The Walt Disney company in 2006. The deal made Jobs the largest individual shareholder of Disney and also a member of its Board of Directors.
Being the showman of Apple's significant product events, Jobs was known for his trademark black long-sleeve turtleneck by St. Croix, Levi's 501 blue jeans and New Balance 991 sneakers.
In 2009, Jobs was named the CEO of the decade by Fortune Magazine. In 2010, the Financial Times named him the person of the year for 2010, saying he was the tech industry's first rock star.
His 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech has been one of the most inspirational pieces for young innovators, with the widely quoted "Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
Jobs disclosed in August 2004 that he had been treated for a rare form of pancreatic cancer, saying the tumor had been diagnosed in time and he had undergone surgery to remove it.
In the following years, the thin, almost gaunt appearance of Jobs constantly aroused speculations about his health.
In early January 2009, Jobs said his apparent weight loss was caused by a treatable hormone imbalance. But about a week later, he admitted that the issue was more complex than he had thought and then took a medical leave for nearly six months.
In June 2009, Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in the state of Tennessee confirmed that Jobs had received a liver transplant at the institute.
In January this year, Jobs announced he was taking another medical leave, without disclosing details about his health conditions.
On Aug. 24, Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple, recommending COO Tim Cook to take his place.
"Steve Jobs' resignation as Chief Executive Officer of Apple is the end of an extraordinary era, not just for Apple, but for the global technology industry in general," wrote Walter Mossberg, one of the most influential writers on information technology.