Steve Jobs in photos: 35 years of an American icon

Apple founder Steve Jobs has died, at the age of 56. We look back at 35 years of press appearances and product launches in a gallery of classic photos.

Nick Hide
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
Nick Hide
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Steve Jobs, who founded Apple in 1976, has died at the age of 56 in California, having suffered from a rare form of pancreatic cancer. We look back at his extraordinary life in a gallery of classic photos. Click through to enjoy and remember some of Jobs' greatest launches.

Jobs revolutionised the world of computers, and leaves a legacy of tech innovation that will endure for generations.

A genuinely exceptional American businessman, Jobs was one of an all too rare breed of charismatic entrepreneurs -- an old-fashioned showman. Thanks to his energy, the launch of a new Apple product was always something to be anticipated, and his enthusiasm for truly excellent tech was infectious.

While a sometimes intimidating micro-manager, Jobs was able to capture the zeitgeist and brilliantly elucidate how he saw the future -- of personal computers, of phones, of music and films.

He was rarely proved wrong.

Jobs had been on medical leave since January, his third such absence since being diagnosed with cancer in 2004. In August he resigned as Apple CEO, stating, "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."

Today a message on Apple's website reads, "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.

"Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."

Let us know your thoughts on Jobs' death in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

Image credits: CNET.com

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An early outing for the iconic black polo neck. Jobs eschewed the tie from the 1990s onwards.
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Jobs thinks back to his early days at Apple Computer, as it was then, with Steve Wozniak in 1976. This was at the launch of the iPad in January 2010.
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The cover of the Apple-1's manual hints at Jobs' philosophy for his company. "We tried to... embody values not only of technical excellence and innovation... but innovation of a more humanistic kind," he said in 1995.
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An ad for the Apple II, introduced in 1977.
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Jobs made his first of many appearances on the cover of Time magazine in February 1982.
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In 1984, Jobs introduced the Macintosh. Never one to downplay his products, the demo began with the words, "Macintosh. Insanely great!"
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The following year, in which he turned 30, Jobs was interviewed by Playboy. "He is on a mission," the article says, "preaching the Gospel of salvation through the personal computer."
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Soon after he was fired by Apple CEO John Sculley. Donning a suit and tie he found investment for a new company, NeXT Computer.
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The tie was off in 1991 for a Fortune interview with Bill Gates. Jobs was always the cooler of the two.
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Jobs returns to Apple in December 1996 when it buys NeXT. In January 2000 he announced he'd taken over full time as CEO.
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His first job back, in 1997, was to salvage the company's plummeting share price. Unexpectedly, Microsoft ploughed $150m into the company.
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Next up: make personal computing fun again.
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The iMac G4 debuted in 2002. "At best, people thought it was rather odd," said its designer, Jony Ive.
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In 1986, Jobs bought Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for $10m, founding Pixar. In 2006, Disney bought the animation studio for $7.4bn. Here's Jobs in 2003 at the premiere of Finding Nemo, with John Lasseter and some Disney execs.
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iTunes comes to Windows in 2003, another in a series of important but sporadic collaborations between Apple and Microsoft. "There is no legal alternative that's worth beans," says Jobs of the digital music scene.
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Jobs appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in 2003 to sell his vision to the music business. Everything he predicted came true.
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Jobs stalks the stage in October 2005 at the launch of the iPod video.
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Here he demonstrates iSight on the iMac at the same event. He did something very similar at the iPad 2 launch six years later.
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The grand opening of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, in New York, in May 2006. The first Apple Store opened five years earlier.
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Jobs practices his iconic stagecraft at the Worldwide Developer Conference in 2007.
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The iPhone, revealed for the first time (after many months of speculation) in January 2007.
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A friendly chinwag with Bill Gates at a conference in May 2007 spawns a hilarious Internet meme.
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President Obama meets technology leaders earlier this year. Jobs is at his left hand; Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is at his right.
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Jobs' last presentation as Apple CEO was to announce iCloud, a new online service that would make all your music and documents available all the time across all your Apple devices.

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