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Obama+world pays tribute to Steve Jobs

US president joins global outpouring for Apple co-founder

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US President Barack Obama has joined the outpouring of tributes to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who died last night.

"Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs," the statement from the White House read.

The statement went on to praise the Apple co-founder and billionaire effusively, saying he "exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity" by building a hugely successful company from his garage.

"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," the statement gushed.

"The world has lost a visionary."

While no one can doubt that the death of anyone at the age of 56 is a sad loss – and can seem even more so when that person is as famous as Steve Jobs – the statement from the president was perhaps a mite extravagant in its praise of dyed-in-the-wool capitalism, but it's in keeping with the tone that most have adopted today.

While every condolence extends to Jobs' family and friends at this time, they're also filled with high praise for his achievements at Apple.

Meanwhile in Blighty, Number 10 wonks tweeted that Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Steve Jobs transformed the way we work and play; a creative genius who will be sorely missed."

Tim Cook, chief exec of Apple, said: "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being."

Bill Gates said it had been "an insanely great honour" to work with him: "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come."

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was particularly solemn: "Tonight, America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come."

And even Samsung's CEO, despite the fact that his company is locked in a bitter patent dispute with Apple in numerous countries worldwide, said nice things. Geesung Choi said: "Chairman Steve Jobs introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry and was a great entrepreneur. His innovative spirit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world."

Whether or not the level of praise in these accolades is a tad fulsome, the sheer number of statements, tweets and testimonials from tech world luminaries, politicians, celebrities and thousands of regular folk is a fitting tribute in itself for the man who inspired legions of fans, albeit while infuriating many others, worldwide. ®

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