Apple co-founder and visionary CEO Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.

Apple posted the following statement on their website:

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Below are pieces of remembrance from some of the people surrounding Steve Jobs.

Statement issued by Apple’s Board of Directors:

We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

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.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

Steve Jobs’ family have provided the following statement:

Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.

CEO Tim Cook just issued the memo below internally to the company:

Team,

I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email rememberingsteve@apple.com. No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.

Tim

Bill Gates offers his condolences (via AllThingsD):

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.

Google’s Sergey Brin just posted this statement on Google+:

From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met.

On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple.

Mark Zuckerberg posted this:

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.

AT&T released the following statement:

We are saddened by the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was an iconic inventor, visionary, and entrepreneur, and we had the privilege to know him as partner and friend. All of us at AT&T offer our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife, family, and his Apple family.

Disney CEO Bob Iger:

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.

And the note to Disney employees:

Dear Colleagues:

After a courageous fight, Steve Jobs has lost his long battle against cancer. It’s almost incomprehensible that such a force of nature could ever be subdued, much less stilled. 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.

An incomparable innovator, Steve influenced two separate centuries and forever changed what we believe is possible. Inspired and inspiring, he worked tirelessly to surprise and delight people – launching entire industries built from his imagination and his ability to make us all want to come along for the ride. I know we are all proud that he was part of our Disney family, honored that he entrusted the creative brilliance of Pixar to our keeping, and grateful for his support, advice and friendship.

Steve once shared his views on life with college graduates in a commencement address that, true to his style, set a new standard. He said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

That’s how Steve lived, who he was, and how I will always remember him.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.

Bob

“Think Different.”

Sent from my iPad

President Barack Obama via The White House Blog:

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 building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. 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.

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. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

Chief creative officer John Lasseter and president Ed Catmull for 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.

Apple has invited those wishing to share their thoughts, memories, and condolences to email rememberingsteve@apple.com

Adobe co-founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke,

“We met Steve Jobs about 3 months after we started Adobe. He called us and said: ‘I hear you guys are doing great things – can we meet?’ He came over to our tiny office in Mountain View and saw the early stages of PostScript. He got the concept immediately and we started about 5 months of negotiations over our first contract. Apple invested $2.5 million into Adobe and gave us an advance on royalties. This allowed us to help Apple build the first LaserWriter. Without Steve’s vision and incredible willingness to take risk, Adobe would not be what it is today. We owe an enormous debt to Steve and his vision.

We have always had great admiration and respect for Steve. The world is a better place because of him, and his absence will leave a huge hole in the world of technology.

We will miss him greatly.”

Steve Jobs will be truly missed. Our hearts go out to his family. Rest in peace.

Flags at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters fly at half staff this evening (via Scoble):

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