Apple and Pixar Chief Executive, 1955 - 2011[Source: ToonZone.net] Steven P. Jobs, former CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, passed away on Wednesday in Palo Alto, CA, at the age of 56 after a long struggle with cancer. In 1976, Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched Apple Computer, becoming instrumental in launching the personal computer revolution and began a career as a major influence in the industry. Jobs oversaw the development of the Macintosh, released in 1984, which was the first mass-market computer with a graphical user interface, but was ousted from Apple only one year later. His return to the company in 1996 led to a revival of the company's fortunes, and under Jobs' second tenure, the company produced iconic computing hardware including the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.
After his departure from Apple, Jobs founded NeXT Computer and purchased an underused computer graphics department from George Lucas' Lucasfilm. The department became Pixar Animation Studios, which released the first CGI feature film Toy Story in 1995 and has become the gold standard in the industry for both techincal and storytelling achievements. The protracted feud between Pixar and Disney CEO Michael Eisner over the two companies' distribution deal ended in 2006 when Disney purchased Pixar in a deal valued at $7.4 billion, which also made Jobs the largest shareholder in Disney.