The father of the Mac computer, iPhone and iPad had a large impact beyond Apple Inc. Tributes to Steve Jobs, who died of cancer at age 56, are coming from across the media spectrum and other sectors of society.
Jobs founded Pixar during a period when he was out of Apple. The animation studio was eventually sold to The Walt Disney Company. Jobs was a director of Disney at the time of his death.
“Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an “original,” with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger.
A statement was also issued by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer & Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios: “Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply ‘make it great.’ He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar’s DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time.”
“We have lost an American hero. Steve Jobs is irreplaceable, but he will inspire people for generations – to innovate, to tackle great challenges, to do what you love, to change the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
“The National Retail Federation [NRF] and the entire retail industry mourn news of the passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs, one of the most innovative leaders of our time who created an iconic retail brand through innovation and design. In a challenging economy, Jobs and the entire Apple team invented discretionary products that many Americans now consider necessities, from the iPod to the iPhone and the iPad. As a prime example of modern day ingenuity and creativity, Steve Jobs offered the world an inside look at what the future of consumer electronics can and will become, with generations of consumers now able to thank him for his brilliant innovations. He leaves behind a legacy that will inspire retail companies for decades to come,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a statement sent to RBR-TVBR.
Top executives at Apple’s biggest rival, Microsoft, also praised Jobs.
“I want to express my deepest condolences at the passing of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of our industry and a true visionary. My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone who has been touched by his work,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
“I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work. 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. 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. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely,” said Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
But perhaps the most touching obituary for Steve Jobs was his own discussion of death in a 2005 commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University. The already famous YouTube video took on new significance with Jobs’ death at age 56.