History and milestones in the life of Steve Jobs

Last Updated: Thursday, October 06, 2011 | 05:02 PM EDT

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From his humble beginnings as a college drop out when Steve Jobs founded Apple in a garage, to the CEO of the world’s most powerful technology company.

1955 — Steve Jobs is born and spends his early years in the area now known as Silicon Valley, California with his adopted family. Internet rumours place his birthday on Feb. 24.

April 1976 — With high-school buddy Steven Wozniak, Jobs starts Apple Computer. Their first product, Apple I, built in circuit board form, debuts at “the Homebrew Computer Club” in Palo Alto, California.

April 1977 — Apple II is unveiled, the first personal computer in a plastic case with colour graphics.

September 1980 — Apple shares begin trading on Nasdaq.

January 1983 — Apple starts selling the “Lisa,” a desktop computer for businesses with a graphical user interface, the system most users are familiar with today.

January 1984 — Apple debuts the Macintosh personal computer.

September 1985 — Jobs is deposed as Apple’s chairman and leaves the company after a boardroom coup that led to the installation of former PepsiCo executive John Sculley as CEO.

February 1986 — Jobs founds computer company NeXT Inc.

June 1986 — Jobs purchases computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd. for $10 million US and co-founds Pixar Animation Studios with Lucasfilm’s Ed Catmull.

February 1993 — NeXT gets out of the hardware business and focuses on its software.

December 1996 — Apple announces it will buy NeXT for $400 million USand Jobs will act as part-time product strategy adviser to Apple CEO Gilbert Amelio.

July 1997 — After losses totalling $1.5 billion USover six quarters, Amelio resigns as CEO and Jobs steps into the role on a de facto basis.

August 1997 — Rival Microsoft Corp. invests $150 million USin then-struggling Apple. Many in the audience boo when Jobs announces the funding at the MacWorld Expo trade show in Boston.

September 1997 — Apple formally names Jobs interim CEO.

November 1997 — Jobs introduces a new line of Macintosh computers called G3, and a website that lets people order directly from Apple.

August 1998 — Apple launches the colourful iMac all-in-one desktop personal computer, the company’s first new PC since the Performa in 1992.

October 1998 — Apple reports its first profit since 1995 after gobbling up market share with the iMac.

January 2000 — Jobs becomes permanent chief executive of Apple and the company’s board votes to give him a Gulfstream V airplane and options to purchase 10 million shares in recognition of his service as interim CEO during which time the company’s market cap went from less than $2 billion US to more than $16 billion US. His salary remains $1 USa year.

September 2000 — Apple unveils next-generation operating system Mac OS X.

October 2000 — Random House publishes The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, an unauthorized biography by Alan Deutschman that paints Jobs as alternately manipulative and arrogant and charming and inspirational.

October 2001 — The iPod debuts on the market.

2003 — The iTunes Store opens, allowing users to buy and download music, audiobooks, movies and TV shows online.

2003 — Jobs is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

August 2004 — Jobs announces he underwent successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his pancreas.

June 2005 — Jobs delivers a commencement speech at Stanford University, telling the audience, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”

May 2006 — The Walt Disney Co. buys Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion US and Jobs is appointed to Disney’s board of directors.

January 2007 — Apple announces the original iPhone and releases it in June.

2008 — Apple opens its App Store as an update to iTunes.

July 2008 — Apple releases the second generation iPhone 3G.

August 2008 — The Bloomberg Business News wire accidentally publishes an obituary of the still-alive Jobs before quickly deleting it.

January 2009 — Jobs takes leave for health reasons. COO Tim Cook leads the company in the interim.

June 2009 — Jobs returns to the company after undergoing a liver transplant.

June 2009 — Apple releases the iPhone 3GS.

August 2009 — In an interview with the National Post, Wozniak said the biggest misconception about his former business partner was that he’s an “arrogant asshole and the media doesn’t take into account that usually when he’s that way, he usually has some logical reasons for it.”

November 2009 — Fortune Magazine names Jobs “CEO of the Decade.”

April 2010 — Apple begins selling the iPad, a 10-inch touch screen tablet, and has an 84 per cent share of the tablet market by year’s end and outsells Mac personal computers within a year of its release.

June 2010 — Apple releases the first iPhone 4 model.

Jan. 17, 2011 — Jobs announces that he will take another medical leave.

March 2, 2011 — Apple launches the iPad 2.

Aug. 9, 2011 — Apple briefly moves past Exxon Mobil Corp. to become the most valuable publicly traded corporation in the United States. Its market cap moves to $341.5 billion US to top Exxon’s $341.4 billion US but Exxon is back on top by the day’s end.

Aug. 24, 2011 — Jobs steps down as Apple CEO and Tim Cook takes the helm.

Feb. 17, 2011 — Jobs wears his signature black mock turtleneck and jeans to a dinner for technology leaders with U.S. President Barack Obama in Silicon Valley.

Oct. 4, 2011 — Apple announces the iPhone 4S, the fifth generation iPhone, scheduled for release on Oct. 14 in the United States.

Oct. 5, 2011 — Apple releases a statement announcing Jobs’ death. “We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the board says in the statement.

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