Dennis Ritchie, the inventor of the C Programming Language and co-creator of Unix died on October 8, at age of 70 years. Perhaps he did not get the public and media attention, as his death was shadowed by Apple’s genius Steve Job’s death. But Dennis was nothing short of a genius and inspiration as the world’s computation power was nothing affected less than the invention of C programming language which changed everything. When in 1973 at Bell Telephone Labs he created the C programming language Ritchie called his achievement “quirky, flawed and an enormous success” and he couldn’t have been more correct, his advanced programming language became the building blocks for nearly every programming language and back end of every scripting tool. It was the programming language that changed everything.
Dr. Ritchie worked at Bell Laboratories for four decades, from his time as a Harvard doctoral student until his retirement in 2007. He was also the co-inventor of the operating system Unix, another innovation that came from Bell Labs in the late 1960s and early ’70s. As a young scientist with the passion to revolutionize the programming world he often worked from noon till late night in his labs. He called his creation C language because programming language that came before it was called B.
Originally created to support the portability of Unix across platforms the C Programming language quickly made it clear that Ritchie was more interested in research then building the world’s next Microsoft after he used funds to create the next great word processor to instead study the language of computer programming. He has in actual so many achievements and awards to his name are difficult to mention.
On his death Jeong Kim, president of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs said in a statement:
“Dennis was well loved by his colleagues at
Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, and will be greatly missed. He was truly an inspiration to all of us, not just for his many accomplishments, but because of who he was as a friend, an inventor, and a humble and gracious man. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the Ritchie family, and to all who have been touched in some way by Dennis.”
Dennis Ritchie is largely responsible for the world as we see it, the technology today, he was a true pioneer and will be missed by the entire computing industry. Do visit his homepage for more information.
Dennis M. Ritchie’s Bell Lab Homepage