Steve Jobs dead at 56

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Steve Jobs showing his human side

Branden Kerr, Clarion Media Editor

On Oct. 5, 2011 Steve Jobs, Apple Chairman and former CEO who brought the company back to life by delivering innovative products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad to the masses, passed away.

Jobs had long fought pancreatic cancer, once even receiving a transplant from a donor. It seems that the battle was just too much this time. The world now mourns the death of one of the greatest technological minds to ever grace the Earth. Steve Jobs was only 56.

Jobs was perhaps best known for innovative and cutting edge products. However, his legacy will be much more about the way in which he introduced the technology. He made computing personal. Taking something that was cold and inhuman and injecting it with personality and intuitive design, transforming it into something that anyone could use. For proof of how great he was at accomplishing this task, one need not look any further than the box of any Apple product. When he took the reigns of the company for the second time, user manuals included with their products were bulky and written in language understood only by engineers. Today, there are no manuals. People are able to remove an iPad from a box and understand how it works almost instinctively.

He also started the best movie studio of the past 30 years. Pixar was a trailblazer in the field of CGI, developing movies in their early days that look amazing even to this day. But Jobs understood that the technology behind these films were only a tool. That to make something great he had to somehow deliver it with a touch humanity. Pixar movies tell stories. They reach deep down inside of grown adults and pull at our heartstrings. This was the impact of Steve Jobs.

After his return to Apple, the company released one game changing product after another. The iMac, the MacBook Air, the iPhone, the iPad, iTunes. All of these products were finished in such a way that they connected on a human level with the end user. They showed Jobs’ understanding of how products operated not in an office, but in the home.

At the height of his career at Apple he made the company the most valuable in the world.

But for all of the great and wonderful things Jobs accomplished over the years, people will still remember his faults. The stories of his unforgiving arrogance behind closed doors seemed to populate the rumor mills as often as the wind blew. When he and Steve Wozniak worked for Atari, Jobs kept secret a bonus that was paid out after they completed their first job for the company, only paying Wozniak $375. There were also his initial denials of paternity concerning his daughter, causing mother and daughter to live on welfare for the first years of her life.

These flaws though proved only to highlight what was best about Jobs. He was human.

Once, Jobs was famously quoted asking a critic, “What have you done that’s so great?” For Jobs, answering that question would have been infinitely easy. Perhaps no one other person accomplished so much in his or her respective field as he did.

He will be remembered for changing the world and the way information is consumed within it.

The world is less today as we move on without him.

Goodbye, Mr. Jobs. You will be missed more than you could have ever imagined.