Re-took the reins at Apple in 1997, on a salary of $1 per annum, holding one share of stock. Why? Perhaps it was to indicate that he had more humility than in his days of running around calling employees "bozos" and telling people that they "just didn't get it".

However, Apple have become outrageously successful again since his return, so in early 2000 he decided to take the CEO job permanently, and then accepted one of the most generous compensation packages ever seen in corporate America, viz. $90 million worth of private jet, and options to buy something like 5% of the company at a knock-down price.

Still, you gotta love him. He's an awesome public speaker, famed for the reality distortion field he projects. He's probably no less evil than other capitalist-heros like Bill Gates, but at least it is possible to respect his work.

Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 in California and raised by his adoptive parents, Paul and Clara Jobs in Cupertino, California. While attending Homestead High School he met and befriended Stephen Wozniak.

Jobs briefly attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon before dropping out. After Reed he got a job as a video game designer at Atari which he used to save enough money for a trip to India to further his Buddhist beliefs. It is at this time that he became a life long vegan. In 1974 he moved back to Silicon Valley and picked up his friendship with Wozniak who was at that time working for Hewlett-Packard. As a hobby Woz had been designing his own computers and Jobs suggested that they make a business of it. In 1976, out of Jobses parents garage they began to assemble and sell the Apple I.

Jobs had a vision that personal computers could have mass appeal, and with his encouragement Woz designed the Apple II which would become the first mass-marketed personal computer. In 1977 the Apple II was released, Apple Computer was incorporated and Steve Jobs was on his way to becoming a legend.

In 1981 Apple computer had the most successful IPO to date and Jobs at the age of twenty-six became one of the richest and most famous men in America. In 1983 Jobs recruited then PepsiCo president John Scully to be Apple's CEO, a move he would later call "one of my greatest mistakes". The story of how he got Scully to jump ship is quite a famous one, with Jobs pointedly asking him: "Do you really want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life?"

At the same time Jobs was leading the development revolutionary Macintosh computer. Because of brilliant work by his engineers, Jobs' unrelenting quest for perfection (which drove some of his workers to near collapse), and a fair amount of plagiarism from Xerox PARC, Apple was able to create a truly new kind of computer. The Macintosh had a Graphical User Interface and was leaps and bounds ahead to the competition in functionality. The Macintosh was released with great fanfare in 1984 by Jobs who showed the now famous 1984 commercial.

While a technical marvel the Macintosh was a commercial failure at the outset. It was overpriced and had a very small software library available. This caused friction between Jobs and the board and in 1985 Scully convinced them to have him removed.

In 1986 Jobs bought Pixar Animation Studios which later went on to make the first fully rendered movie Toy Story. The same year he started the ill-fated NeXT Computer which, suffered the same fate as the early Macintosh. It was a brilliant product, years ahead of its time, but wildly expensive compared to comparable products like Sun workstations. In 1996 Jobs sold NeXT to Apple Computer for $400 million dollars. NeXT Step, the operating system designed for the NeXT became the basis for Apple's soon to be released Mac OS X. Also, in 1991 Jobs married Laurene Powell whom he met while speaking for her class at Stanford University. Together they have three children (Jobs has one daughter from a previous relationship).

In 1997 Gil Amelio, Apple's then CEO stepped down and Jobs became the iCEO. Originally the i stood for interim but Jobs has since made the position permanent. Since returning to Apple Jobs has revitalized the company's entire product line, releasing the enormously popular iMacs followed by the G4's, G4 Cube and new Titanium Powerbook G4.

Steve Jobs' illness and passing.

Steve announced his illness in mid-2004, a form of pancreatic cancer called islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. He underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy later that year that appeared to remove the tumor. He did not undergo or receive chemotherapy or radiation treatment for the disease.

In 2008 questions arose about Steve's health due to his appearance, with Apple chalking it up to a common bug. However, on January 5, 2009 Apple stated that Steve had been suffering from a "hormone imbalance" for several months. On January 14, 2009, an internal memo written by Jobs stated that his health related issues were much more complex than he had originally thought, and in April 2009 Jobs underwent a liver transplant at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee. His prognosis was excellent.

On January 17, 2011 Steve took a leave of absence from Apple to "focus on his health." He resigned as Apple's CEO on August 24, 2011 due to his illness.

Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011 at the age of 56. The Jobs family stated that "Steve died peacefully (today) surrounded by his family."

Our world has lost a great visionary, inventor, and businessman. Rest in Peace, Steve.

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