Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO who invented and masterfully marketed ever-sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology, from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, has died. He was 56.

Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause. He had been battling pancreatic cancer.

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," the company said in a brief statement. "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."

Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January — his third since his health problems began — before resigning as CEO six weeks ago. Jobs became Apple's chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.

By the time he turned the reins of the company over to Cook, Jobs had become one of the business world’s greatest comeback kids.

The company he founded, was fired from and then returned to had gone from also-ran to technology industry leader. Under Jobs’ intensely detail-oriented leadership, Apple created several iconic products, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad, that have changed the face of consumer technology forever.