Wife and family with Jobs at final moments in Palo Alto
* Outpouring of grief, tributes around the world
* Legacy as one of greatest American visionaries
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Steve Jobs, the transcendent Silicon Valley entrepreneur who reinvented the world’s computing, music and mobile phone industries and changed the daily habits of millions around the globe, died on Wednesday at the age of 56.
His death after a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer sparked an immediate outpouring of tributes as world leaders, business rivals and fans alike lamented the tragedy of his premature passing and celebrated his monumental achievements.
“The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement.
Fans paid homage to Jobs outside Apple stores around the world, from Los Angeles to Sydney. Outside one store in New York City, mourners laid candles, bouquets of flowers, an apple and an iPod Touch in a makeshift memorial. In San Francisco, they held up black-and-white portraits of Jobs on their iPads.
Many websites, including Apple’s own, were transformed into online memorials, a testament to the digital creativity that Jobs inspired.
“For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor,” said Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) Bill Gates, who once triumphed over Jobs but has seen his legendary status overtaken by the Apple (AAPL.O) co-founder in recent years.
Jobs was surrounded by his wife and immediate family when he died in Palo Alto, California, Apple said late on Wednesday. Other details were not immediately available.
Jobs stepped down as CEO in August and handed the reins to long-time operations chief Tim Cook. With a passion for minimalist design and a genius for marketing, Jobs laid the groundwork for the company to continue to flourish after his death, most analysts and investors say.
Jegarakshagan R. Gokul