• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Dennis Ritchie, father of Unix dies

Computer scientist Dennis Ritchie is reported to have died at his home this past weekend, after a long battle against an unspecified illness. Ritchie is most famous for developing C and influencing other programming languages, as well as operating systems such as Multics and Unix.

Ritchie’s creation of C and his role in the development of Unix alongside Ken Thompson has placed him as an important pioneer of modern computing.

News of Ritchie’s death was first made public by Canadian software engineer and author Rob Pike on his Google+ Page.

Ritchie and Thompson were jointly awarded the Turing Award in 1983 for their development of common operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the UNIX operating system.

“Ritchie’s influence rivals Jobs’s; it’s just less visible,” said Associate Law Professor James Grimmelman on Twitter. “His pointer has been cast to void *; his process has terminated with exit code 0.”

Tributes have poured in from all corners of the internet for Ritchie. “Dennis Ritchie” was on the top ten trending topics list on Twitter.

Much of his career was at Bell Labs with Thompson as seen in his in the video below.

His death was confirmed by Bell Labs, in a message from its president, Jeong Kim, to employees.

Dennis was well loved by his colleagues at Bell Labs, and will be greatly missed. He 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.

President Bill Clinton awarded Ritchie and Thompson the National Medal of Technology in 1999 for their contributions to Unix and C.

Founder of O’Reilly Media and a supporter of the free software and open source movements — Tim O’Reilly tweeted:

Author | Mich Atagana

Mich Atagana
Mich started out life wanting to be a theoretical physicist but soon realized that mathematics was required. So, she promptly let go of that dream. She then decided that law might be the best place for her talents, but with too many litigation classes missed in favour of feminist... More

More in News

BlackBerry woes worsen as outage hits US & RIM homeland Canada

Read More »