Dennis RitchieW, creator of the C programming language and co-creator of the Unix operating system, has died aged 70.
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Dennis RitchieW was born in Bronxville, New York. His father was Alistair E. Ritchie, a longtime Bell Labs scientist and co-author of ”The Design of Switching Circuits” on switching circuit theory. Ritchie graduated from Harvard University with academic degrees in physics and applied mathematics. In 1967, he began working at the Bell LabsW Computing Sciences Research Center, and in 1968, he received a Ph.D. from Harvard under the supervision of Patrick C. Fischer.
C and Unix
Ritchie was best known as the creator of the C programming language and a key developer of the Unix operating system, and as co-author of the definitive book on C, The C Programming Language (book)W, commonly referred to as ”K&R” (in reference to the authors Kernighan and Ritchie).
Ritchie’s invention of C and his role in the development of UNIXW alongside Ken Thompson (programmer) has placed him as an important pioneer of modern computing. The C language is still widely used today in application and operating system development, and its influence is seen in most modern programming languages. UNIXW has also been influential, establishing concepts and principles that are now precepts of computing.
Ritchie was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988 for “development of the ‘C’ programming language and for co-development of the UNIX operating system.”