Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, whose technological innovations and shrewd business know-how have revolutionized how people see the world though media.
Biography.com takes a look at his life and the technological legacy he left behind:
Jobs was born to Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah “John” Jandal on February 24, 1955. The couple gave him up for adoption, and he was adopted and raised by Clara and Paul Jobs in California’s Silicon Valley. Paul was a Coast Guard veteran and a machinist. Growing up, the young Jobs would sit with his father and learn how to disassemble and reassemble electronic devices.
Jobs attended Reed College for a few months before deciding to drop out and dive into video game design work and travel to India. He came back to the States to co-found Apple Computers in 1976 with his high school pal Paul Wozniak. The two had a vision of creating and selling user-friendly computers for general consumers, and within the first few years of business, the duo reaped huge profits.
Jobs and Chairman of Apple Computers John Sculley unveil the Macintosh personal computer, 1984.
“If you view computer designers as artists, they’re really into more of an art form that can be mass-produced, like records, or like prints, than they are into fine arts,” Jobs told Wired magazine in the 1980s. “They want something where they can express themselves to a large number of people through their medium, and their medium is technology and manufacturing.” This fusion of art and machinery that Jobs envisioned created streamlined gateways to a variety of cultural expressions, including music, movies, magazines, books, blogs and—for those who prize being organized—virtual desktops.
Fast forward to 1985, and things took an unexpected turn for Jobs: With some executive maneuvering, he was forced out of Apple, yet he ultimately returned in 1996 to helm tools that would radically alter our media appetite. Combining Jobs’ 1986 acquisition of what would become Pixar and Apple’s own machine innovations, the company was bringing something undeniably new to the tech table.
Watch Steve Jobs’ evolution of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad:
Just as he was innovative, Jobs hired like-minded thinkers and craftsmen to Apple’s unimaginable success. Yet he also reportedly knew when to let go, as he primarily handled the business end of Pixar’s development, giving company creative director John Lasseter free reign artistically. Apple’s originality as a company was mirrored by Jobs’ ability to walk to his own beat; he was known for his trademark blue jeans in business settings, had studied Eastern philosophy and talked openly about having used hallucinogens.
Watch more Steve Jobs’ mini bios
Yet he was a paradox, often displaying a demanding, demeaning temperament when it came to his treatment of employees. Still, people have continued to look to Jobs’ life with avid interest, as evident by Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography.
Jobs’ true substance may only be known to his closest confidantes, but people everywhere will know him for his vision of fusing technology and art and changing the way they communicate and experience the world around them.