Two of the most important and recognisable figures in the world have paid tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs, who passed away last night at the age of 56.
“Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs,” US president Barack Obama said in a statement. “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 grown-ups 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.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, a close personal friend of Jobs, says Jobs’ legacy will live on for many generations.
“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,” a statement read.
“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 honour. I will miss Steve immensely.”