Editor's note: This piece was authored by Josh Peterson, an intern at the Heritage Foundation Center for Media and Public Policy.

The world bid farewell to one of the greatest Americans to have graced the pages of history Wednesday evening. Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs passed away at 56 years old.

“To anyone who tells you that America's best days are way behind her; that we no longer lead the world, please give them one name: Steve Jobs,” said Mike Gonzalez, vice president of communications at The Heritage Foundation.

In this time of economic crisis, Jobs’ legacy is not simply one example of technological innovation and success; his pursuit of the American dream defined a generation the way only an American is capable of doing. While the world embraced him as their own, his vision and accomplishments were nurtured by principles distinctly red, white and blue.

Jobs’ biological mother chose life over a 1955 back-alley abortion. She, an unmarried graduate student, recognized his unalienable right to life and gave him up for adoption to parents who promised to send him to college. During his now legendary tenure as a college dropout in the 1970s, he received his “one good meal a week” at the local Hare Krishna temple – a religious establishment allowed to operate freely thanks to the religious liberties fundamental to this country. His personal ideals were expressed during a June 2005 commencement address to Stanford University, delivered one year after he was diagnosed with cancer that would later claim his life: stay hungry, stay foolish and don’t settle. The American spirit of individualism and the pursuit of happiness characterized the products he made and the way he made them: they were meant to be personal, bringing the world and the power to engage with it to a person’s finger tips.