US President Barack Obama said in a statement that Jobs was one of America’s “greatest innovators”, adding “he transformed their lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.”
Jobs’s great rival, Microsoft boss Bill Gates declared “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.”
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev’s official twitter blog had a message which read “People like Steve Jobs change our world.” He continued “My sincere condolences to the family and all who valued his intelligence and talent.”
But it was the scale of the reaction from ordinary people around the world which was most remarkable.
As word spread that Jobs had died of cancer at the age of 56, messages tagged “iSad” and “RIP Steve Jobs” joined other references to the Apple founder as one of the biggest topics on Twitter.
By nightfall on Wednesday in California thousands of people on the global social network Facebook had signed up to join an unofficial Steve Jobs Day, planned for 14 October.
Steve Jobs in dates
1955: Steve Jobs born in San Francisco to Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian immigrant to the US. Jobs is adopted at around one week old by Armenian-American couple Paul and Clara Jobs, of Mountain View in Silicon Valley, California.
1971: Meets Steve Wozniak
1972: Enrols at Reed College, Portland, Oregon, stays only one term.
1976: Founds Apple Inc with his 26-year-old friend Steve Wozniak, in the family garage.
1978: The Apple becomes the first mass-market personal computer, a huge success.
1985: Following an internal power struggle after an industry-wide sales slump, Steve Jobs is fired from Apple. Later says that being dropped “freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life”.
1986: Co-founds Pixar Animation Studios, makers of film hits such as “Toy Story” for which Jobs is executive producer.
1996: Apple buys Jobs’ company NeXT, allowing Jobs to return to the company he founded, serving as CEO from 1997 until August 2011.
2001: iPod launched
2007: iPhone launched
2010: iPad launched
2011: Steve Jobs steps down as Chairman of Apple Inc.
2011: Dies after long battle with pancreatic cancer, in Palo Alto, California