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: Detecting and blocking leaky Android apps

0 shares

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

NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program

4 hours ago

The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration ...

Uber drivers fined in Hungary

5 hours ago

The Hungarian tax authority fined Uber drivers in its first probe against the ride-sharing service which the economy ministry said Saturday "ignores passenger safety" and must be made to follow regulations.

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

May 23, 2015

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

May 23, 2015

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.