Do you watch animated movies, use a computer, listen to music?
If the answer is yes to any of those, and we suspect it probably is for all of them, then your life was in some way affected by Steve Jobs.
Jobs, who was one of the creators of Apple, the creative force behind all technologies that start with an i and in part responsible for advances in digital animation, died Wednesday. He was 56.
KidsPost doesn’t usually write obituaries, stories about people who have died. Basically, we think that death isn’t a subject most kids want to think about. So we write only about the deaths of important people or people who have made a difference in kids’ lives. For example, we have written about presidents and popes who have died. And we wrote about Mr. Rogers when he died in 2003. Today, we’re writing about Steve Jobs.
Jobs was 21 years old when he and his friend Steve Wozniak created Apple Computer in the garage of his parents’ house in California. He had dropped out of college. (That’s something he had in common with Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Jobs and Gates were often seen as rivals, leading two of the great computer companies of all time).
Jobs was a millionaire by the time he was 25, but he was also a perfectionist. That made him very hard to work with, and in 1985, Jobs was fired from the company he created.
It was during the time that he wasn’t working for Apple that Jobs bought what would become Pixar Animation Studios. Jobs wanted to change the way animated movies were made, and the result was some of the most successful and memorable movies of the past two decades, including the “Toy Story” movies, “The Incredibles,” “Wall•E” and “Up.”
Jobs once said that he thought he was a bit like Flik, the idealistic young ant in the Pixar movie “A Bug’s Life.” Flik saves his colony of scared ants from an army of big, angry grasshoppers.
Twelve years after being fired by Apple, Jobs was rehired. In the years between 1997 and 2011, Apple produced personal computers, laptops, portable music players and phones that changed the way people around the world interacted with technology.
The first iPod, introduced in October 2001, could fit in your hand and hold more than 1,000 songs. That probably seems small to many of you because the newest iPod Touch can hold 14,000 songs. Before the iPod, the most popular portable music device was a Walkman, which could hold about 12 songs on something called a cassette tape. (Ask your parents!)
Jobs became ill with cancer in 2003 and had a liver transplant in 2009. After that, he encouraged people to think about becoming organ donors.
Jobs was married and had three daughters and a son.
When he introduced the first Apple Macintosh computer in 1984 he described it as “insanely great.” Those words are being used now, by Bill Gates in fact, to describe not the computer but the man who created it.
Today Jobs is being compared to such great inventors, innovators and businessmen as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Walt Disney.
In other words, people you read about in history books.