Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and its CEO through a period of record growth and innovation for the company, has died. He was 56.
Jobs's death was confirmed by a statement from 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.
According to a statement released from Jobs's family, the Apple co-founder "died peacefully [Wednesday] surrounded by his family."
"In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family," the family's statement read. "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." The family also asked that the public "respect our privacy during our time of grief."
"No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve's death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to Apple employees. "We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much."
Jobs's passing comes after a long illness that led to him taking a leave of absence from the company in January. He resigned as CEO in August, announcing to the world the day had come "when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO." He was succeeded by then chief operating officer Cook and became Apple's chairman.
"I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it," Jobs wrote in his resignation letter.
Jobs is survived by his wife Laurene Powell and four children, and his sister, Mona Simpson.