Steve Jobs, the visionary in the black turtleneck who co-founded Apple passed away at the age of 56.
Those are the plain and simple words that signal the end of a life, but clearly not the end of an ordinary life. This is a man who not only built a legacy, Steve Jobs was once known as the man who saved Apple from financial ruin, but his legacy goes far beyond that; he will be remembered as one of the rare few people who changed the world.
Many obituaries will be written and many commentaries offered. There will be eloquence upon eloquence, all seeking to offer something unique, something different that can capture the essence of a man who was in fact a genius, someone who will have left an imprint on the world that will last for decades if not generations.
Here we see Steve Jobs delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005. In it he talks about getting fired from Apple in 1985, life & death. He urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks -- including death itself
But there is one element of his journey through this life that stands out above almost everything else:
Steve Jobs was a survivor.
Steve Jobs was a survivor in business. We know the story of how he built a company, tried to mould success elsewhere, then returned to his dream and took it to heights that no one could have predicted or imagined. That is survivorship in the business world.
Steve Jobs was once known as the man who saved Apple from financial ruin, but his legacy goes far beyond that; he will be remembered as one of the rare few people who changed the world.
But Steve Jobs was another type of survivor: a cancer survivor. Sadly, we know the answers. There is finality to the life of Steve Jobs in the physical sense, although his influence will be felt long after his passing.
For me, however, his greatness is amplified by what he accomplished under the most difficult of circumstances. For here was a man who had an uncommon cancer that recurred and required a liver transplant. Here was a man who was failing in his health, yet had the fortitude to face every day as a new challenge, to do what he wanted to do, to accomplish successes that had never been accomplished before. Here was a man who embodied the drive and the spirit that so many cancer survivors possess every day of their lives, even when facing the ultimate moment as Steve Jobs faced today.
To his family, many friends, colleagues, and all of us who knew him and admired him in one way or another for so many years, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Steve Jobs was the ultimate success story. But that should not overshadow the fact that he was a man who pressed forward while carrying an immense personal burden.
Steve Jobs was truly a very special man. Steve Jobs was a survivor.
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