Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs Passes Away At 56

Less than two months after officially stepping down from his role of CEO at Apple, the company’s co-founder and the one person most directly associated with Apple has passed away at the age of 56.

In a statement on the Apple website, the company writes:

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. 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 build, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Jobs had been battling pancreatic cancer for most the last decade and had gone on medical leave several times in the last year, though he still made public appearances at Apple’s biggest product announcements.

Though Jobs left Apple in the 1980s, he would later return and lead the company to revolutionize the music and electronics industry with the introduction of the iPhone and the iTunes store. Jobs’ would later repeat this success with the iPhone and the iPad.

Jobs did live long enough to see yesterday’s announcement of the iPhone 4S, the first major product launched under the leadership of new CEO Tim Cook.

“I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it,” wrote Jobs when he announced his decision to step down as CEO. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.”