I'd speculate people like him because they relate to him and see him as a role model. He was the geek who made a product that launched a company, and he comes off as a likable person who's really in it for the technology. He's also given a very positive portrayal in "The Pirates of Silicon Valley" and a few documentaries on the early PC era.
You don't need a lifetime of cranking out new innovations to become a cult icon. One (or a few) big success(es), combined with some personality traits can be sufficient