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Many probably learned of Steve Jobs' death on an Apple device he brought to life

About 10 minutes ago, AP reported that Steve Jobs has died at 56. This was quickly followed, as things are now, by a flurry of Twitter activity. Apple's board of directors quickly issued the official statement:

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.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

The Apple homepage also transmitted the sad news of Steve Jobs' death (1955-2011) to all Appledom. The company has set up an email address to anyone who was ever influenced or inspired, exasperated or enraged, by Jobs to send in their thoughts:

Steve Jobs' leadership of Apple, as well as NeXT and Pixar, defines innovation for a generation, in business and out, in technology and out. He was a force. For me, it's fully consistent with his life that the startup that he co-founded in a garage at the dawn of the personal computer era almost went bankrupt before he revived it and, before his death, was for a brief period in August the world's biggest company.

It's probably the greatest turnaround in American business history. And it happened because Jobs restored a commitment to excellence that was really beyond what anyone had ever seen before. Who does every other company want to be like, down deep? That would be Apple.

People remembered where they were when they learned that Kennedy had been shot. I suspect a great many people will remember where they were when the learned that Steve Jobs had died. The difference is that many millions will have learned of Jobs' passing on a device — a computer, an iPhone, and iPad — that he obsessively and lovingly brought to life.

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Update: Bill Gates remembers Steve.

Update II: I should point out that we've lost a great Californian.

Update III: Apple CEO Tim Cook's message to Apple employees about Steve's death.