RIP Steve Jobs: He merged technology, art and business

Just heard the sad news that Steve Jobs, the visionary who made Apple into one of America's greatest companies, has died at 56. His body had been ravaged in recent years by pancreatic cancer, but his spirit stayed strong. He took Apple from a second-tier computer company that lived in the shadow of Microsoft PCs, and made it uber-cool. His legacy can be seen everywhere in iConic products such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

I bought my first Apple product, a color desktop called the Macintosh LC, about 20 years ago, and back then, folks grudgingly paid Apple's premium prices. But these days, thanks to Jobs' savvy, millions rush to be the first to embrace Apple's newest products (the latest version of the iPhone notwithstanding). Just as Starbucks gave cafe a new cache, Jobs elevated our basic technological machinery into an art form.

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A new biography by Walter Isaacson is being rushed to print -- the release date, originally scheduled for next March, has been moved to November 21. Based on dozens of interviews with Jobs, the book should be revealing reading.

RIP, Steve

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