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Dennis Ritchie, C Creator and ­nix Developer, Has Passed Away

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Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie, standing, and Ken Thompson designed the original UNIX programming language on a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer at Bell Labs.

Credit: Courtesy of Bell Labs

After a long illness, Dennis Ritchie, creator of the C programming language and developer  of UNIX, died last weekend at the age of 70.

Known to many in the computer science community as "dmr," Ritchie was jointly awarded the A.M. Turing Award in 1983 with Ken Thompson for their work on UNIX.  Ritchie's and Thompson's "The UNIX Time-Sharing System" was published in the July 1974 Communications of the ACM.

For an in-depth obituary from ZDNet U.K., click here.

For an excellent Salon article by Andrew Leonard, "Dennis Ritchie: The geek Prometheus," click here.

For a laudatory 2004 Economist article, "UNIX's Founding Fathers," click here.

For a short Wired tribute by David Winer, "Dave Winer: Cold-Calling Dennis Ritchie," click here.

And, finally, for Dennis Ritchie's Wikipedia entry, click here.


Jack Rosenberger is Communications' senior editor, news.



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