Steve Jobs created a remarkable legacy, one that's still unfinished. He co-founded Apple, saw it shrink in size and influence and revived it through deft and constant innovation. His death follows within a day of the unveiling of the latest version of the iPhone, one of his game-changing products.
He will rightly be revered as a tech legend. His genius enabled him to conceive of gadgets that consumers could not even imagine - iPod, iPhone, iPad - and refine and market them into staples of everyday life.
Apple's trajectory - rapid ascent in the 1980s, then a plunge to the brink of bankruptcy, and a revival to global phenomenon - can be traced to his presence. When Jobs was in charge, the company soared.
His last years were a mystery. Ever secretive, he withdrew from everyday responsibilities with general explanations of poor health. He sought treatment and made a limited comeback until he retired in August.
Along with his health went questions about Apple's continued success. That's how powerful and essential a figure he had become in the company's future.
As a company leader, he earned a reputation as exacting and demanding, making sure Apple products were consumer-friendly, well-designed and popular enough to sell in the tens of millions.
Most of all, Jobs was a visionary, capable of divining new directions for a tech world that stalled out periodically. Music sales were revolutionized by iTunes, which widened the role for iPod players. Cell phones morphed into smart phones, largely through the attractive, intuitive design of the iPhone. Popular culture, communications and technology will never be the same.