(Reuters) - President Barack Obama was among the many people who paid tribute to Steve Jobs, calling the Apple co-founder a visionary and great American innovator.

"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," Obama said of Jobs, who died on Wednesday.

"The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."

The president was joined by political, technology, entertainment and business leaders around the world in paying tribute to Jobs. A selection:

BILL GATES, MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN

"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."

RUPERT MURDOCH, CEO OF NEWS CORP

"Today, we lost one of the most influential thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs of all time. Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation. While I am deeply saddened by his passing, I'm reminded of the stunning impact he had in revolutionizing the way people consume media and entertainment."

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK FOUNDER AND CEO, ON 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."

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CHIEF EXECUTIVE, G.S. CHOI

"Chairman Steve Jobs introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry and was a great entrepreneur. His innovative spirit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world."

SONY CEO HOWARD STRINGER

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

AT&T CHAIRMAN AND CEO RANDALL STEPHENSON

"Steve was an iconic inventor, visionary, and entrepreneur, and we had the privilege to know him as partner and friend."

BOB IGER, CEO OF WALT DISNEY CO

"Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an 'original,' with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started."

MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL, ON TWITTER

"Steve Jobs is an inspiration to American entrepreneurs. He will be missed."

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR, ON TWITTER

"Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us."

MASAYOSHI SON, FOUNDER OF SOFTBANK, JAPAN'S NO.3 MOBILE PHONE SERVICE OPERATOR

"Steve was truly a genius of our time, a man with a rare ability to fuse art and technology. In centuries from now, he will be remembered alongside Leonardo da Vinci."

MARK CUBAN, ENTREPRENEUR, ON TWITTER

"The PC era is officially over. #RIP #STEVEJOBS

INVESTOR MARC ANDREESSEN

"Steve was the best of the best. Like Mozart and Picasso, he may never be equaled."

PAUL ALLEN, CO-FOUNDER OF MICROSOFT

"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.

MICHAEL DELL, CEO OF DELL INC

"Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder. The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come."

LARRY PAGE, CEO OF GOOGLE, ON GOOGLE+

"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."

STEVE CASE, FOUNDER OF AOL, ON TWITTER

"I feel honored to have known Steve Jobs. He was the most innovative entrepreneur of our generation. His legacy will live on for the ages."

JEFF BEWKES, CEO OF TIME WARNER

"The world is a better place because of Steve, and the stories our company tells have been made richer by the products he created. He was a dynamic and fearless competitor, collaborator, and friend. In a society that has seen incredible technological innovation during our lifetimes, Steve may be the one true icon whose legacy will be remembered for a thousand years."

DICK COSTOLO, CEO OF TWITTER, ON TWITTER

ARTHUR SULZBERGER, CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW YORK TIMES CO

"Steve Jobs was a visionary and a wonderful friend of The New York Times. He pushed the boundaries of how all providers of news and information interact with our users. I am among the many who deeply regret his passing."

JOHN RICCITIELLO, CEO OF ELECTRONIC ARTS

"Steve was one of a kind. For many of us working in technology and entertainment, Steve was a new kind of hero that lead with big, bold moves and would not settle for less than perfection. He is the best role model for a leader that aspires to be great."

JOHN LASSETER AND ED CATMULL, CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER AND PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY and PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

"Steve ... 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."

SPIKE LEE, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/ACTOR, ON TWITTER