Maverick creator of C programming language dies

Maverick creator of C programming language dies

By Rob Crossley

October 13th 2011 at 3:09PM

Industry outpouring of tributes for Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie, one of the most influential persons in the field of computer programming, has passed away at the age of 70, his friends have confirmed.

The computer scientist is widely known for creating C, one of the most widely used programming languages.  Richie had worked on the general-purpose coding framework between 1969 and 1973, and the success of the language sparked variants such as C++, C# and Objective-C.

Ritchie received the Turing Award in 1983 for his contribution, six years before receiving the prestigious National Medal of Technology in the US.

The Bronxville, New York born computer scientist retired in 2007, stepping down as head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department.

Details of his death have not been disclosed. According to a Google+ post by Google engineer and former colleague, Rob Pike, Ritchie “died at home over the weekend following a long illness”.

News of his passing prompted an outpouring of comments and tributes on Pike’s Google+ channel.

“He was a quiet and mostly private man, but he was also my friend, colleague, and collaborator, and the world has lost a truly great mind,” Pike said.

Coder Tim Howard said “A giant has fallen. It's hard to measure the impact his work has had on my life”.

Javascript developer Ray Cromwell said “I spent my late teens reading his book over and over again, I imagine, there are tens of thousands who did the same, having their career started by C”.

In the same Google+ page, coder Miguel Filipe paid tribute with:

#include
void main() {
char *c="RIP Ritchie, you have left a legacy behind!\nPS:Thanks for C & UNIX\n";
write(1,c,strlen(c));
}