Dennis M. Ritchie, R.I.P.

Dennis Ritchie passed away last weekend. He was one of the great minds in systems research and development, father of the C programming language, and one of the big contributors to Unix, both of which power the Mac on which I’m typing this, the iPhone on my desk, the Windows machine I use at work, the servers on which this blog is hosted, and much of the infrastructure both you and I use to connect to it.

May he Rest in Peace.


This makes three consecutive obituaries in my blog, of three great minds that have passed away in the last couple of weeks. All three of them were giants in their fields, and their fields were related and interconnected. Dennis Ritchie built much of the foundations on which our current technologies are based; Gene Schultz worked tirelessly to make them more secure; and Steve Jobs worked tirelessly to make them a joy to use.

In my everyday work and life, even just here, in the devices on my desk, I can see and experience the work and passion of these three men. I feel honored to have met them, either in person or through their work.