Wednesday, Apple's founder and tech visionary Steve Jobs died at the age of 56 after his long battle with pancreatic cancer.

The whole world is mourning for the loss of the Silicon Valley icon who impacted and, literally, transformed the tech industry and global culture.

Jobs' genius behind Apple's iconic products from Macintosh computer to iPod, iPhone and iPad redefined the media of the 21st century.

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, said Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it's been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely, said Gates, who once was Jobs' rival.  

Google co-founder Sergey Brin reacted to Jobs' death, saying,

From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration or vision and leadership, we need to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in Preston the few times we have met. On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much.  

Steve Jobs is the greatest business leader of our time. He'll be remembered for 100 years. To think that I knew somebody who became the most important person in the world. It's actually -- it's kind of stunning, said Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple. 

 

 

Jobs' health had been known to be worsening. Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003. He treated the cancer and apparently was fine until 2009, when he had to take a leave of absence because his health issues were more complex than originally thought.

In 2009, he had a successful liver transplant and returned to work in June of that year. 

On Jan. 17, 2011, one and a half years after Jobs returned from his liver transplant, Apple announced that he had been granted a medical leave of absence. 

In his most recent appearances, including at June's Worldwide Developer Conference, Jobs looked thinner and less healthy than he had in previous years. Naturally, Jobs nor anyone involved with Apple would comment on his health, leaving everything up to speculation.

Jobs announced his resignation from his role as Apple's CEO on Aug. 24. In the letter, Jobs wrote that he could no longer meet duties and expectations as Apple's CEO.

 

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being, Apple released a tribute on its website as the company announced Jobs' death on Wednesday. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

 

As a tribute to Steve Jobs, here are Jobs' top quotes as well as rare facts about his life along with photos of Steve Jobs throughout his time with Apple. 

Click [START] to begin the slideshow.