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Pixar founder, Disney board member Steve Jobs dies at 56

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Published: October 5, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Everyone knows Steve Jobs as the former head of Apple, but theme park fans should also note that in 1986 Jobs bought the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm from George Lucas and turned it into a company called Pixar.Steve Jobs

He bought the division for $10 million. Twenty years later, in 2006, Disney acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion. Jobs served on the Disney board after the acquisition of Pixar, and Pixar's lead creative force - John Lasseter - today holds the title of chief creative officer for The Walt Disney Company and principal creative advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, making Lasseter one of the most important creative forces in theme parks today.

Frankly, I suspect Disney wouldn't be nearly as successful and influential as it is today if it weren't for Lasseter, Pixar... and Steve Jobs.

Readers' Opinions

From Phil B. on October 5, 2011 at 6:05 PM
Rest in peace Mr. Jobs, you have earned yourself the right to sit amongst such esteemed, iconic individuals who've pushed through and challenged us to either accept things as they are, or make the world of tomorrow a better place for all to live in.
From Daniel Etcheberry on October 5, 2011 at 6:51 PM
What a legacy!
From James Rao on October 5, 2011 at 7:30 PM
Without vision companies perish. Steve Jobs was a man of vision who definitely left some pretty successful companies in his wake. His legacy is assured. But the greatness of his legacy does not diminish our loss. I am shocked at how much this news saddens me. RIP, Mr. Jobs, you will be missed.
From N B on October 5, 2011 at 10:37 PM
I was really sad when I heard the news... Steve, you will never be forgotten.
From TH Creative on October 6, 2011 at 1:51 AM
Is it reasonable to assert that Mr. Jobs' cultural contribution was equal to that of Mr. Disney?
From steve lee on October 6, 2011 at 4:50 AM
I think that's an entirely reasonable comparison, TH. It's better than the Edison comparison people keep making.
From 206.248.107.44 on October 6, 2011 at 5:33 AM
I felt sadness too, when I'd heard today...

When I was at World of Disney in July of this year, I kept seeing Walt's pictures and thinking; I really admire him, not really just for what he's done but for the vision and courage to do it.

I feel the exact same way about Steve Jobs, and the contributions to our everyday life which are plenty...
I couldn't imagine my life today without my Iphone. But is way more than that for me, I wasn't alive when Walt Disney was, but I'm glad to had been when Steve Jobs was...

R.I.P. Steve.

-Francisco

From Ashleigh Noad on October 6, 2011 at 5:45 AM
Excellent comparison TH. Very saddened to hear this news, I can only hope that such a high profile person's death in relation to this terrible disease will only increase the public's interest in research and funding the less common cancers.
From Derek Potter on October 6, 2011 at 6:11 AM
The comparison is good TH...in fact I'm not so sure that Steve Jobs shouldn't be put ahead of Walt in many respects. When you think about all that he brought us and how it's changed the way we live our life it's pretty amazing stuff. Never mind all of the cool gadgets of the last 15 years...this guy brought us the personal computer.
From Anthony O'Neal on October 6, 2011 at 6:30 AM
I think it's entirely appropriate to place him in that company. He just did things differently. A lot of the ways we do things in our daily lives has been changed because of the technology he helped create or improved at his companies, and I think it forced others to "up their game" or risk being left in the dust.
From Anthony Murphy on October 6, 2011 at 6:33 AM
I think Disney is at a great loss when it comes to the death of Steve Jobs. He was innovative and was part of the creative mindbank made up of himself, Lasseter, and Iger.
From Brian Emery on October 6, 2011 at 10:51 AM
I am a huge fan of Mr. Jobs. Thanks for changing personal computers. He has changed the world forever… RIP.

Apple – Pixar – Next computers - Heck I think he even invented raisin bread.

From Andrew Mooney on October 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM
THCreative, I firmly believe that Steve Jobs and Walt Disney are two of the most influential people in the last century. Both have re-envisioned their respectful fields, even redefining them and the comparison seems obvious.

Steve Jobs will forever be blessed as the man who transformed Apple's woes to the most successful company ever. He re-imagined the telephone, computer, music device and now tablet computers. It's a testament to Steve's creative and managerial style that the iPad represents 74% of the tablet market.

For me, Steve Jobs filled my childhood with wonderful characters that ranged from Buzz and Woody to Mike and Sully. He is also the most influential member of the Disney board and I'm certain that he spearheaded Disney's ever growing digital footprint as well as push vigorously for the up-and-coming NextGen project.

For this, I thank you Steve Jobs and may you Rest In Peace.

From Anon Mouse on October 6, 2011 at 8:45 AM
I would not say "equal". Steve Jobs seems to exceed that of Walt by many metrics.
From Mark Fairleigh on October 6, 2011 at 9:06 AM
I totally agree that Jobs belongs up there with Disney, if not higher. His impact on world culture is huge and will continue beyond his passing. It just hit me that I'm typing this comment on an iPod. Rest in Peace, Steve. Your presence and influence will be felt for years beyond.
From TH Creative on October 6, 2011 at 10:50 AM
On another note, wasn't Mr. Jobs also Disney's single largest shareholder?
From Brian Emery on October 6, 2011 at 12:03 PM
As of 2010 - 5.426 million Apple shares, as well as 138 million shares in Disney..
From 72.204.131.77 on October 6, 2011 at 1:30 PM
I had thought at some point, Apple and Disney would merge. Apple was on its way to being the worlds first trillion dollar company and had huge cash reserves to attempt a successful buyout.
Very sad of his death. Hopefully Apple and Pixar can continue pushing the bar of excellence. Thank you Steve Jobs.
From Andrew Mooney on October 6, 2011 at 1:54 PM
Steve Jobs owns 7% of Disney. Thats why I mentioned the reference to NextGen and Disney's digital footprint

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