As news of Steve Jobs’ death hit Silicon Valley, Hollywood and everywhere else today, friends, colleagues, and admirers of the Apple co-founder, former CEO of Pixar, and all-around visionary (who passed away Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 56) shared their memories and tributes.
President Barack Obama: “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.”
Steven Spielberg tells EW: “Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips.”
John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer & Ed Catmull, President, 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.”
Walt Disney president/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.”
Bill Gates: “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.”
George Lucas: “The magic of Steve was that while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched and never compromised on that vision. He leaves behind an incredible family and a legacy that will continue to speak to people for years to come.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “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.”
Bono: “What made Steve Jobs truly great is that he was only interested in doing truly great things. He was bored by an easy ride or easy profit. In a world littered with dull objects, he brought the beauty of clean lines and clear thought. This rhyme of intellect and intuition could be applied to a wide range of subjects from the US education system, to sculpture, to the fight against HIV/AIDS where his support of (RED) literally transformed the lives of two million people in Africa.
He changed music. He changed film. He changed the personal computer and turned telephony on its head while he was at it. He was tenacious in the extreme, his toughness never more evident than these past few years in his fight for his life as well as his companies.
Steve told me as proud as he was of Apple and Pixar, his real pride was his family. He was a thoughtful and tender father, and loved nothing more than hanging out in the house with his belle Laurene and the kids.
I already miss him…one of a very small group of anarchic Americans who through technology literally invented the 21st century. We will all miss the hardware software Elvis.”
(Additional reporting by Anthony Breznican)