The pundits of Silicon Valley have a term for Steve Jobs' charisma: the reality distortion field. But the truth is, most of us like living in Jobs' reality, where exquisite design and sheer utility make for some addictively usable tools.
Jobs' famous persuasive power was equalled by his creativity and business brilliance -- apparent in legendary hardware and software achievements across three decades of work. The Macintosh computer (which brought the mouse-driven, graphical user interface to prominence), Pixar Animation Studios (which produced Toy Story, the first fully-3D-animated feature film), the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad all owe credit to Jobs' leadership and invention.
Jobs battled a rare form of pancreatic cancer -- adding to an epic life story that mirrors the story of Apple itself: ever the underdog, ever the spectacular success. In August 2011 he stepped down as Apple's CEO, remaining as Chairman of the Board. He died on October 5, 2011.