Commemorating Steve Jobs and his continuing influence on technology

in General Discussion edited October 5

More than a decade after his death, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs continues to influence the world. AppleInsider explores what the man himself thought about living and dying, and how is online archive is commemorating him and his work.

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs.
Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs.

Every year since Jobs died, Apple has marked the anniversary with tributes, including turning over its homepage to a memorial. In 2021, the homepage included a personal message from Jobs's widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and a three-minute video about the man.

For 2023, Tim Cook tweeted a memory of the man.

Tim Cook's 2023 tweet about Steve Jobs
Tim Cook's 2023 tweet about Steve Jobs

Ahead of the 11th anniversary of his death in 2022, Cook joined with Powell Jobs joined and Jony Ive to talk about him on stage.

During that Code22 panel discussion with Kara Swisher, Powell Jobs also launched the Steve Jobs Archive online.

Intended to be a growing tribute, and specifically a growing inspiration that would later include a book, the archive began with an email from Steve Jobs -- to himself. Reportedly, Jobs would often email himself notes and thoughts, but this particular one was an acknowledgement of how he, and all of us, depend upon each other.

Start of an email Steve Jobs sent himself. (Source: The Steve Jobs Archive)
Start of an email Steve Jobs sent himself. (Source: The Steve Jobs Archive)

"I love and admire my species, living and dead, an am totally dependent on them for my life and well being," he says at the conclusion of his email. "Sent from my iPad."

Jobs's death in 2011

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died at around 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday October 5, 2011. He was at his Palo Alto home. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department recorded the immediate cause of death as respiratory arrest but that "metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor" was the underlying cause.

Flowers left outside Steve Jobs's Palo Alto house
Flowers left outside Steve Jobs's Palo Alto house

Later that day, his wife Laurene Powell Jobs issued a 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.

Jobs was 56 years old and had been being treated for this rare form of pancreatic cancer since he was 49. Consequently he had been conscious of his health when giving a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. He chose to speak about mortality.

At that point, he had already had a successful operation to remove a tumor but in 2009 he took an extended leave of absence from Apple to undergo further treatment. He had a liver transplant and at the September 2009 Apple event thanked his donor.

"I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs," said Jobs. "I am alive because of their generosity."

We now know that Jobs had refused Tim Cook's offer of a liver transplant but in this same speech he thanked Cook and others for how they "rose to the occasion".

Cook would again take over while Jobs went on another medical leave of absence in January 2011.

Jobs's final public appearance was on June 7, 2011, representing Apple at a Cupertino county meeting where he spoke about plans to build Apple Park.

Just under three months later on August 24, 2011, Jobs formally stepped down as Apple CEO. On his last day he reportedly chaired a board meeting, tried to fool a pre-release version of Siri with questions, and then rode home with Apple attorney George Riley.

That evening, he told biographer Walter Isaacson that "I've had a very lucky career, a very lucky life. I've done all that I can do."

The day he died


managing editor at the time was Neil Hughes. He wrote Steve Jobs's obituary for the site on that day.

"I was at the gym, and I got a bunch of calls. The news broke late and I rushed home to cover it. For me it was a story -- I wasn't really emotional at the time, I was just in work mode, covering it as it needed to be covered," he said. "From a news perspective, I kind of knew it was coming, but it was still unexpected. You just assume a guy like that will live forever."

Journalists write obituaries regularly and you don't put your personal reaction into these pieces. After the work is done, though, things are different.

"I never realized I had a 'relationship' with Steve until later," Hughes said. "There was a lawsuit that involved emails between Eddy Cue and Steve. Something about iBooks. And Steve read one of my stories and actually learned something about his own company from it. The truth is Apple always paid attention, including Steve."

Writer Bob LeVitus, who Steve Jobs would occasionally quote on slides in keynote presentations, says now that even though his death had been expected, it was upsetting. "I was really sad when he died. It was like the end of an era," he remembers.

Bob LeVitus
Bob "Dr Mac" LeVitus

"He was one of those once in a generation guys," says LeVitus. "He was brilliant. Apple isn't going to be the same after Steve. I think Tim Cook tries really hard to keep the spirit of Apple alive and the way Steve would've wanted it. [However] as the company gets bigger and bigger it gets harder and harder to stay true to doing everything excellently."

"I don't know what the next big thing is but I don't know that Apple will hit on it without Steve," continues LeVitus. "Maybe. There's so many smart people at Apple that I'm sure something good will come out of it but Steve was the one that said let's build an MP3 player fo real people who are not geeks. And let's build a phone that actually is smart."


As news of Jobs's death broke, friends, colleagues and former rivals spoke about him. Microsoft founder Bill Gates said: "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."

On October 19, 2011, Apple held a memorial service for Jobs. It was initially a private event for employees and live-streamed only to Apple Stores around the world. Around a week later, Apple released the video publicly. That video is no longer available on Apple's site but a memorial page is. You can read a selection of people's memories about Steve Jobs and still contribute your own.

Apple continues to maintain that page and every year, Tim Cook pays tribute to Jobs on the anniversary of his death, with tweets such as this one in 2020:

"A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again." -- Maya Angelou. You're always with us Steve, your memory connects and inspires us every day.

-- Tim Cook (@tim_cook)

Writing in 2021, ex-Apple Chief Designer Jony Ive says it was a "brutal, heartbreaking day" when Jobs died.

"After he died, I walked out into the garden," wrote Ive. I remember the sound of the latch on the wooden door as I gently pulled it closed. In the garden, I sat and thought how talking often gets in the way of listening and thinking."

"Perhaps that is why so much of our time together was spent quietly," he continued. "I miss Steve desperately and I will always miss not talking with him."

Read on AppleInsider



  • Reply 1 of 8
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,879member
    We won't forget Steve Jobs legacy and influence on tech world ever but long as Apple have Steve Job's DNA and Tim Cook's superior operational/logistic capability, people will continue loving Apple and buying Apple products.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    As a life long apple user…… he is dead! Move along and find a new demigod. Let the poor man rest and get yourselves a new god to worship. 
  • Reply 3 of 8
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 679member
    Steve's greatest "one more thing" wasn't something he ever mentioned on stage, but we are only realizing the full potential of it years after his death. It was his vision of integrated hardware and software, each designed to maximize best use of the other, which resulted in Apple's infamous "walled garden" that was so derided for so many years. But as our tech devices have proliferated far beyond computers, the need and desire for those devices to work seamlessly with each other has never been greater. And no company can do that as well as Apple with its control of hardware and software. More than anything else, it's the "one more thing" that has allowed Apple to become the most valuable company on the planet. And as new devices continue to enter our lives, Steve's walled garden will only become more valued and desirable.  
    edited October 2022 badmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    jimcord said:
    As a life long apple user…… he is dead! Move along and find a new demigod. Let the poor man rest and get yourselves a new god to worship. 
    Most people have moved on. However, to take the time to acknowledge the profound impact someone who has died has had on the world is one of the things that makes us human. 
    The people closest to him will miss him. The people who admired him for what he did will always take a moment on his anniversaries to acknowledge him.

    A tribute to Steve Jobs on an Apple-centric website is never out of place.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,025member
    All I can say about Steve Jobs is that he put one hell of a dent in the universe he inhabited while he was here.

    He gave the keys to Tim Cook and told him to run it as he saw fit - not as he thought he (Jobs) would. He was wise enough to know that all companies change after the founder leaves the stage - Disney, Ford, Microsoft, CBS and endless others changed after the iconoclastic founder died or stepped away. Just as Tesla and Space X will after Elon leaves.

    Just my speculation, but I think had he survived his cancer Jobs was preparing to step away from day to day running of Apple. That yacht he built and the age of his children at that time seems to imply he was wanting to refocus his life closer to home and family. It is truly sad that he was unable to see that day.

    The people who built Apple v1 are all gone from the company now and most of the core group that were with Jobs during the return and rebuilding v3 have left the company. It is a very different place now and many times larger than the company was even at the time of his passing. It is now very much the company built by Tim Cook.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    I can hardly explain how important Steve Jobs and his computer invention has been in my life.

    Most of my professional... and home... life has long been intertwined with the technology that he and Steve Wozniak invented.

    I bow to them both.

  • Reply 7 of 8
    Too bad he didn’t live long enough to see through a major focus on Siri.  Wish Apple would honor that particular nearly last aim of Jobs and make it all it could be on our devices.

  • Reply 8 of 8
    jimcord said:
    As a life long apple user…… he is dead! Move along and find a new demigod. Let the poor man rest and get yourselves a new god to worship. 
    Hey there, are you doing okay? Seriously .... you okay?
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