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Apple “deeply saddened” to announce CEO Steve Jobs’ death

Steve Jobs, co-founder and former chief executive officer of Apple, has died at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer.

In a statement released from Apple, the company said: "We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."

During his illustrious career, which began in the 1970s, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, which saw him take leaves of absence in 2004 and 2009, as well as January of this year.

In August, Tim Cook was announced as the new chief executive officer of Apple after he was chosen for the role by Jobs.

Cook performed his first major public speaking role for the company at the launch of the iPhone 4S, which took place earlier this week.

The leading technological company has paid tribute to its former leader by way of a memorial on apple.com.

Visitors to the popular site are encouraged to direct any messages they may have to an official email address, which will later share those messages with the web.

And while this may not be your typical send-off, it is in keeping with the company's appeal to youth culture, where news is often broken via a tweet or status update.

Public officials around the world have also issued condolences and US president Barack Obama has issued a joint statement with his wife Michelle describing Jobs as "among the greatest of American innovators".

He said: "Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it."

Prime minister Julia Gillard expressed the sentiments of many Australians by saying: "It's not too much to say he literally changed our world."

Castleford