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Wednesday, October 05, 2011, 05:34 pm PT (08:34 pm ET)

Microsoft's Gates, Disney's Iger & Obama comment on passing of Steve Jobs

Following the news that Steve Jobs has died, a number of his contemporaries and some of the most powerful and influential people in the world have commented on his passing, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Disney President Bob Iger, and U.S. President Barack Obama.

Bill Gates

"I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

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.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely."

Bob Iger

"Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined.

Steve was such an ‘original,’ with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started.

With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time."

U.S. President Barack Obama

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. 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.

By building one of the planet's most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. 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. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve's wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt

"Steve Jobs is the most successful CEO in the U.S. of the last 25 years. He uniquely combined an artists touch and an engineers vision to build an extraordinary company.. one of the greatest American leaders in history."

Michael Dell

"Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder,” said Michael Dell, chief executive and founder of Dell Inc., the big computer maker. “The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to the Apple team."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

"Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

Former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz

"It’s the ultimate sadness. First of all, it’s a young person who was revered, sometimes feared, but always revered. In a way, it’s kind of prophetic; everyone was hoping he could be on stage yesterday” during Apple’s iPhone announcement. "He was a very special person, and he didn’t get to where he was by having people like him all the time. He got to where he was because he had a vision and a purpose. It’s easy to try and please everyone, but he kept to his principles."

California Gov. Jerry Brown

"Steve Jobs was a great California innovator who demonstrated what a totally independent and creative mind can accomplish. Few people have made such a powerful and elegant imprint on our lives. Anne and I wish to express our deepest sympathy to Steve’s wife, Laurene, and their entire family."

Arnold Schwarzenegger

"Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us."