The master of sleek gadgets, Apple co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, died Wednesday at the age of 56. Jobs, who was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant two years ago, resigned as chief executive of Apple on Aug. 24.

In his letter of resignation, Jobs strongly recommended that the Apple executive succession plan be followed and Tim Cook be named as his successor. Per his request, Jobs was appointed chairman of Apple's board of directors.

Apple announced his death in a brief statement, without providing any details about where he died. We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today, the company said in a brief statement.

It was in mid-2004, when Jobs announced his illness and told his employees that he had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his pancreas. He said that he had a rare, far less aggressive type known as islet cell neuroendocrine tumor.

In August 2006, a thin, almost gaunt Steve Jobs emerged at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. This was the time when his appearance inspired a flurry of media and Internet speculation about his health.

In March, Jobs emerged from his medical leave to unveil the iPad 2 tablet computer. He was also present at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco this year to introduce iOS 5 and the iCloud service.

...my doctors think they have found the cause - a hormone imbalance that has been 'robbing' me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy.... The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I've already begun treatment, Jobs said in 2008, when he lost a lot of weight due to his illness.

On Oct. 5, apple.com opens with Jobs' black-and-white picture, along with his name and years of birth and death. Clicking on Jobs' image takes visitors to another page that reads:

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. 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.

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