Apple icon Steve Jobs passed away after a years-long battle with cancer.

Steve JobsNew York: Steve Jobs, who transformed the worlds of personal computing, music and mobile phones, died on Wednesday at the age of 56 after a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

The co-founder of Apple Inc, one of the world’s great entrepreneurs, was surrounded by his wife and instant family when he died in Palo Alto, California.

His death was announced by Apple and sparked an abrupt expression of sadness and sympathy from world leaders, competitors and other businessmen comprising Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“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,” said Gates.

The Silicon Valley icon who gave the world the iPod, iPhone and iPad had stepped down as CEO of the world’s leading technology company in August, handing the reins to long-time lieutenant Tim Cook.

“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.” Apple said in a statement.

Jobs‘ health had been a controversial matter for years and his battle with an extraordinary form of pancreatic cancer a deep concern to Apple fans and investors.

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