By PAUL BENTLEY and LAURIE WHITWELL
Memorial: The Apple Home page after it was revealed the Jobs had died
Apple founder Steve Jobs died today after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
Tributes, led by President Barack Obama, began pouring in within minutes of the company confirming the death of the mastermind behind the iPhone, iPad and the iPod at the age of 56.
'We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,' read a statement by Apple's board of directors.
Last picture: A frail Steve Jobs is helped into a car by a friend outside his home in California on August 26
'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.'
Creative genius: Apple announced the death of its founder on its website
The homepage of Apple's website this evening switched to a full-page image of Jobs with the text, 'Steve Jobs 1955-2011.'
Clicking on the image revealed the additional text: 'Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.
'Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.
Innovator: Steve Jobs introduces the Apple Nano in San Francisco. He passed away today
'Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.'
Jobs leaves a wife, a son and two daughters.
His relatives also released a statement, which said he 'died peacefully today, surrounded by his family.
'In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve's illness.'
Gadget: Jobs holds the new iPad during a product announcement in San Francisco last year
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the news of Jobs's death to Apple employees via e-mail: 'I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
'We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon.
'No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honour his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.'
Concerns: In April Steve Jobs seemed frail sparking speculation he would have to resign
Within minutes of his death being confirmed, tributes to Jobs began flooding the web, led by President Barack Obama, who tweeted: 'Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. From all of us at #Obama2012, thank you for the work you make possible every day - including ours.'
Mr Obama later gave a fuller statement, in which he praised Jobs as a 'visionary' who was 'bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.'
'The world has lost a visionary,' he said. 'And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.
Gaunt: Steve Jobs in 2001 (left) and speaking in March this year at the iPad2 launch
Visionary: Steve Jobs unveils the Apple I-Mac on May 18, 1998 in California
Old and new: A young Steve Jobs holds the Apple II computer in 1977 (left) and in 1994
Historic: Jobs poses with Apple Macintosh at the new computer's unveiling in 1984
Tributes: An Apple employee lights an apple-shaped candle for the late Steve Jobs outside an Apple Store in Santa Monica, California
Mourning: Brandy Faulkner, a neighbour, leaves flowers outside Jobs's home in Palo Alto, California