Apple Pioneer Steve Jobs Dies at 56

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Steve Jobs, the innovative leader of computer company Apple, died yesterday. After a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Jobs passed away at the age of 56 on Wednesday, leaving behind a legacy of visionary design in the computer industry.

Not only did Jobs inspire a generation of computer and mobile designers- and users- with his sleek, intuitive designs of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, his personal story became the stuff of legend, a call to persevere with one’s vision.

After starting Apple with Steve Wozniak in 1976, Jobs oversaw the creation of the first Macintosh computer. After resigning in 1985 over internal conflicts, he went on to found Pixar Animation Studios and computer platform development company NeXT. Famously, after Apple bought Jobs’s company NeXT in 1997, he returned to Apple to serve as its CEO until 2011.

Although his strict standards sometimes chafed employees, Jobs’s uncomprising approach to product design made him the icon of a new kind of leadership in the technology business- one that prized aesthetic and shunned imitation.  Jobs went beyond what users thought they might need, and gave us products that revolutionized the way we communicate and consume music and video.

In his now-famous commencement speech at Stanford, he spoke to the importance of trusting his inner vision. “Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,” he said. “Stay hungry. Stay foolish,” were his closing words. We will.

How did Steve Jobs inspire you? Share your stories with us.

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