Read 17 touching Steve Jobs tributes from Lucas, Lindelof and more

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Dec 15, 2012, 11:18 AM EST

Immediately after news broke last night that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died at the age of 56, tributes to the innovator began pouring in from around the world, many of them sent on the very devices he helped create.

But no tributes are more telling of his influence than the tributes of Jobs' fellow innovators and tech wizards, many of them his rivals, who celebrated his life and his creations.

Bill Gates, co-founder and Chairman of Microsoft

"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."

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple

"We've lost something we won't get back. The way I see it, though, the way people love products he put so much into creating means he brought a lot of life to the world."

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

"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."

Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Google

"I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google's are with his family and the whole Apple family."

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google

"From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met. On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple."

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft

"My condolences to Steve Jobs' family and friends. We've lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products. Steve fought a long battle against tough odds in a very brave way. He kept doing amazing things in the face of all that adversity. As someone who has had his own medical challenges, I couldn't help but be encouraged by how he persevered."

Andy Hertzfeld, Macintosh Team developer

"Steve Jobs was my friend and hero for over thirty years. The Apple II changed my life before I met him, and working closely with him to create the original Macintosh was the high point of my career, if not my entire life. Steve was more than the greatest business person of his generation, he was a passionate artist who poured his soul into his work. I will miss him terribly, even though he will live on in Apple products for many years to come."

Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter

"Once in a rare while, somebody comes along who doesn't just raise the bar, they create an entirely new standard of measurement."

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of

"Steve was a teacher to anyone paying attention, and today is a very sad day for everyone who cares about innovation and high standards."

George Lucas, founder of Lucasfilm

"The magic of Steve was that while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched and never compromised on that vision. He leaves behind an incredible family and a legacy that will continue to speak to people for years to come."

John Lasseter, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Pixar; and Ed Catmull, President of Pixar

"Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply 'make it great.' He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar's DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time."

Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony

"The digital age has lost its leading light, but Steve's innovation and creativity will inspire dreamers and thinkers for generations."

Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man and Cowboys & Aliens

"We lost a man of true vision today. Condolences to the whole Apple family."

Patton Oswalt, comedian and comic book writer

"RIP Steve Jobs. Closest thing we had to Tony Stark."

Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost

"Steve Jobs. On behalf of every dreamer sitting in his or her garage who is crazy enough to try to change the world, you will be missed."

Neil Gaiman, award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author

"Thank You Steve Jobs. You left the world better, and more interesting, than you found it."

Matt Fraction, Eisner Award-winning writer of The Invincible Iron Man

"from garage kubricks everywhere, past present & future, goodnight steve."