Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) co-founder, chairman, former CEO, and visionary Steve Jobs has passed away, the company announced today.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the company wrote.

“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.”

Jobs had been battling well-known health problems for years, including pancreatic cancer. He resigned as Apple’s CEO in August, saying: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” He concluded, “I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it.”

In a speech delivered to Stanford University six years ago, Jobs said, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important thing I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

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