Born: February 24, 1955
Died: October 5, 2011
Steve Jobs was co-founder chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc.
Born in 1955 in California, Jobs took an interest in computing in the mid 1970s when he attended meetings at the Homebrew Computer Club with future Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. He worked at a technician for Atari and was credited with designing the circuit board for the game Breakout, which was introduced in 1976.
Later in 1976, along with Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, and A.C. "Mike" Markkula Jr. founded Apple. The Apple I was released on April 11, 1976, and around 200 handmade units were sold at $666.66. The Apple II was introduced in 1977 and one of the first highly successful mass-produced personal computers. The first model of the Apple II had a microprocessor running at 1 MHz, 4 KB of RAM, and an audio cassette interface for loading programs and storing data.
In 1984, Jobs introduced the Macintosh at an annual shareholders meeting, which was met with an extremely enthusiastic audience. The Macintosh would become the first commercially successful personal computer with a graphical user interface.
Relations between Jobs and then CEO of Apple, John Sculley, deteriorated in 1985, causing Jobs to leave Apple and found NeXT Computer. NeXT Workstations were introduced in 1990, and were designed for their technical strengths; the first World Wide Web server, operated by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, was a NeXT.
Jobs also took an interest in the graphic design end and bought The Graphics Group from Lucasfilm's computer graphics in 1986, which would later be renamed to Pixar. The company was initially intended to produce graphics hardware, and after failing to produce a commercially successful product, they partnered with Disney to produce a series of successful and critically acclaimed animated films.
Apple announced that it would purchase NeXT in 1996, which brought Jobs back into the Apple corporation. Much of NeXT technology was integrated into the release of Mac OS X, and Jobs became an interim CEO in 1997. In subsequent years, Apple would branch away from the personal computer and move towards devices such as the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
After a long battle with cancer, Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011, and eventually succumbed to his illness on October 5, 2011.