Dennis Ritchie, computer-programming pioneer, dies

Oct 13, 2011

(AP) -- Dennis Ritchie, a pioneer in computer programming, has died at age 70, according to his longtime employer.

Ritchie created the popular C programming language and helped create the Unix operating software. He died a month after his birthday, according to his biography on a webpage of Alcatel-Lucent's . Ritchie joined Bell Labs in the late 1960s.

The company confirmed his death to The Associated Press but would not disclose the cause of death or when Ritchie died. A spokeswoman said the company was trying to contact his family.

Ritchie is best known for his contributions to and software. The C programming language, which Ritchie developed in the early 1970's, is still popular. It has gone through a number of upgrades, and it is commonly used for website development and other computer tasks. The Unix also surged in popularity. It and its offshoots, including the open-source Linux, are widely used today, in corporate servers and even cellphones.

Ritchie's biography on the Bell Labs site says that he was born on Sept. 9, 1941 in Bronxville, N.Y., and studied physics and math at Harvard University.

"My undergraduate experience convinced me that I was not smart enough to be a physicist, and that computers were quite neat," Ritchie wrote. "My graduate school experience convinced me that I was not smart enough to be an expert in the theory of algorithms and also that I liked procedural languages better than functional ones."

Jeong Kim, president of Bell Labs, wrote in a blog post Thursday that Ritchie 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."

Explore further: Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

4.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Global warming threatens Australia's iconic kangaroos

Oct 15, 2008

As concerns about the effects of global warming continue to mount, a new study published in the December issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology finds that an increase in average temperature of only two degrees Celsiu ...

Bell Labs wins technical Grammy award

Jan 10, 2006

Bell Labs won Tuesday the technical Grammy award by the Recording Academy that is awarded for technical contributions to the recording field.

In women, caffeine may protect memory

Aug 06, 2007

Caffeine may help older women protect their thinking skills, according to a study published in the August 7, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

mPhase demonstrates first working nanobattery prototype

Feb 09, 2006

mPhase Technologies and Lucent Technologies Bell Labs today reported that their jointly developed nano-based "smart" battery prototype has proven it can store and convert energy on demand. This practical confirmation of the ...

'Last Lecture' prof's program to be updated

Jul 31, 2009

(AP) -- Carnegie Mellon University will release an updated version of the animation-based software developed by late "last lecture" professor Randy Pausch to teach computer programming.

Recommended for you

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

Apr 18, 2014

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Oct 14, 2011
Excellent. I will drink a toast tonight at the news of this man's death for not only having produced one of the worst computer languages in existence, but also for the bug ridden filth that was the language's standard libraray thaw went unfixed for 3 decades. Errors that in large part were responsible for virtually all of the computer exploits.

Functions like gets() are guaranteed to fail for specific aaplication inputs.

Some 40 years later the same bugs - that even a high school student shouldn't make - are still found in the C standard library.

Filth... Absolute Filth...

Death was too good for him.

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...