The health of Apple CEO Steve Jobs was swathed in secrecy for much of the past five years. As his health deteriorated from pancreatic cancer, rumors of his imminent death spread across the press and the Internet. Below is a breakdown of how the story of Jobs's battle with cancer was reported.
2004: The then 49-year-old Jobs told Apple employees in an e-mail that he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his pancreas and had undergone a successful operation to remove it.
"I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1 percent of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was). I will not require any chemotherapy or radiation treatments," Jobs wrote.
2006: At Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference Jobs appeared thin and gaunt. Rumors of his death began to swirl around the internet and in the press. An Apple spokesperson however said that "Steve's health is robust."
2008: Again appearing gaunt at the WWDC, Jobs's health soon became a hot topic. Investors began to worry about the state of the company because of its CEO's "hands on" approach. Though initially reps said he was suffering from "a common bug," in a New York Times writer said that after speaking with Jobs, "his health issues have amounted to a good deal more than 'a common bug,' they weren't life-threatening and he doesn't have e a recurrence of cancer."
At Apple's September 2008 Let's Rock event in San Francisco, Jobs used Mark Twain's oft-cited quote: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Later he brushed off journalists' questions and soon refused to take questions about his health.
2009: In an internal memo sent in January, Jobs said that he'd "learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought," and announced a six-month leave.
In April, Jobs underwent a liver transplant at in Memphis. When he was discharged from the hospital his prognosis was reportedly excellent.
2011: In January Jobs announced a leave of absence, "so he could focus on his health". It was announced that again Tim Cook would run day-to-day operations while Jobs would still focus on strategy. In March, however, he did announce the launch of the iPad2.
On August 24 Jobs officially announced his resignation as Apple's CEO. He satiated that he could "no longer meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple's CEO".
On October 5, 2011, his family, in a statement, said Jobs "died peacefully today surrounded by his family ..."