Steve Jobs’ Death Draws Reactions from President Obama, Bill Gates

News of Steve Jobs’ death spread quickly yesterday, as people worldwide mourned the loss of the greatest visionary in recent memory.

And even President Barack Obama felt the sting of loss as he issued a statement to share his feelings about the late Apple honcho.

“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. … By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun.”

“Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.”

Microsoft’s Bill Gates also conveyed his grief- “Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives,” Gates said in a statement. “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor.”

And Facebook visionary Mark Zuckerberg offered, “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”

The computer pioneer and the brains behind the iPhone , iPod and iPad had been battling cancer and ill health for years before succumbing to the disease on Wednesday, October 5th, 2011.

Jobs had taken an indefinite leave of absence from the company at the beginning of 2011 to battle an undisclosed medical issue – making for his third medical leave in recent years. On August 24th, he announced that he would be stepping down from his position.

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Jobs wrote in his letter of resignation. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”

Jobs named chief operating officer Tim Cook as his replacement. Meanwhile Apple Inc. officials announced the sad news in a simple tribute on the firm’s website.

A full-page black and white image of Jobs was accompanied by the words, “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.” The site was later updated with the line, “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.”

A statement from Jobs’ family reads, “We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.”

Meanwhile, a representative from Apple adds, “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.”

Offering their condolences, celebrities have started posting tributes to Jobs online, as socialite Kim Kardashian called him a “brilliant man” while Kings of Leon rocker Jared Followill tweeted, “RIP Steve Jobs. You changed many lives in a lot of ways.”

©2011, All Rights Reserved

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