*President Barack Obama has commented on the recent passing of two titans: Fred Shuttlesworth, one of the brave cornerstones of the modern civil rights movement, and Apple creator Steve Jobs, who transformed the computer and entertainment industries, and forever changed the way we consume media.
The mastermind behind Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac and iTunes, Jobs, 56, co-founded Apple Computer in 1976 and, with his childhood friend Steve Wozniak, marketed what was considered the world’s first personal computer, the Apple II.
In 2004, he beat back an unusual form of pancreatic cancer, and in 2009 he was forced to get a liver transplant. After several years of failing health, Jobs announced on Aug. 24, 2011 that he was stepping down as Apple’s chief executive.
Of Jobs, President Obama stated: “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.”
Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who with Martin Luther King Jr. and two other ministers founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, passed away at the age of 89. He had been in poor health for the last year and was hospitalized with breathing problems three weeks ago at Birmingham’s Princeton Baptist Medical Center, where he died.
Obama’s said Wednesday of the legendary activist: “Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth today. As one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Reverend Shuttlesworth dedicated his life to advancing the cause of justice for all Americans. He was a testament to the strength of the human spirit. And today we stand on his shoulders, and the shoulders of all those who marched and sat and lifted their voices to help perfect our union.
I will never forget having the opportunity several years ago to push Reverend Shuttlesworth in his wheelchair across the Edmund Pettus Bridge — a symbol of the sacrifices that he and so many others made in the name of equality. America owes Reverend Shuttlesworth a debt of gratitude, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sephira, and their family, friends and loved ones.”