There are so many people who have had a huge impact on society. Some are still here and others have passed on. Either by their inventions, beliefs, or leadership they influenced the world. When I think about it, names that come to mind are Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Walt Disney, Bill Gates, even Mark Zuckerberg. Today, I celebrate the birth of one of my hero’s….Steven Paul Jobs.
Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California. You know him as the man that created Apple. The man who basically created personal computing. Steve was always thinking ahead of the game. He saw the future, much the way Walt did. In addition to the creation of Apple, he revolutionized the way we get our music now with the creation of the iPod. Soon it was followed by the iPhone, then the iPad. You can see his footprint in so much of what we do today. To think if he never created the iPod, would we have apps today and stay in contact with others the way we do? So much of our lives revolve around technology, with the power to stream music, movies and television. To stay updated on news stories, to find out about a storm coming our way. Technology is everywhere, and Steve helped to bring it where it is today.
One big thing that Steve did, that Disney fans will appreciate, is created the corporation we know as Pixar. In 1986, Steve purchased The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division for the price of $10 million. In 1995, Pixar and Disney would work together on the film “Toy Story” which Steve Jobs was credited as executive producer. The partnership would go on to make other blockbuster hits like “A Bug’s Life”, “Monsters’ Inc.”, “Finding Nemo” and many others.
In 2003 and 2004, as Pixar’s contract with Disney was running out, Jobs and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner tried but failed to negotiate a new partnership, and in early 2004, Jobs announced that Pixar would seek a new partner to distribute its films after its contract with Disney expired.
In October 2005, Bob Iger replaced Eisner at Disney, and Iger quickly worked to mend relations with Jobs and Pixar. On January 24, 2006, Jobs and Iger announced that Disney had agreed to purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. When the deal closed, Jobs became The Walt Disney Company’s largest single shareholder. Jobs’s holdings in Disney far exceeded those of Eisner, who holds 1.7 percent, and of Disney family member Roy E. Disney, who until his 2009 death held about one percent of the company’s stock and whose criticisms of Eisner, especially that he soured Disney’s relationship with Pixar, accelerated Eisner’s ousting. Upon completion of the merger, Jobs received 7% of Disney shares, and joined the Board of Directors as the largest individual shareholder.
Sadly, on October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs passed away from his battle with pancreatic cancer. He had lost conscience the day before and with his wife, kids and sister by his side he left us. Just like Walt, Steve was taken a way far too early. Apple’s headquarters flew their flags at half-staff. Even though there was a big history with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, the flags were also flown at half-staff throughout their headquarters and campuses. In a sign of respect for such a great man, Bob Iger ordered all Disney properties, including Walt Disney World and Disneyland, to fly their flags at half-staff from October 6 to 12, 2011.
Happy Birthday Steve Jobs, your influence and creations have changed our lives forever. You introduced us to technologies that I look back and wonder how we ever got along without them. You created a film empire that brings families together to laugh and cry. Your legacy will live on in the lives of all those you touched forever.
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