Dennis Ritchie(September 9, 1941-October 12, 2011)

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie

I could not resist taking a look at Dennis Ritchie in this series of great computer  


Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie best known as the father of the c programming language was born on September 9, 1941  in Bronxville, New York to Alistair E. Ritchie a Bell Labs scientist. Early in his life Ritchie moved to New Jersey, where he attended Summit High School. Ritchie graduated from Harvard University with degrees in physics and applied mathematics. In 1967, he began working at the Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center, and in 1968, he received a PhD from Harvard under the supervision of Patrick C. Fischer, his doctoral dissertation being “Program Structure and Computational Complexity”.

During his time at Bell Labs He developed the C Programming Language  which was used as a key stepping stone in the creation of the unix operating system which he played a major role along with Ken Thompson, the scientist credited with writing the original Unix; in which they were both awarded the Turing award from the

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in 1983, the Hamming Medal from the IEEE in 1990, the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1999. 

Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007, four years later on October 12, 2011 Dennis Ritchie  was found dead in his home where he lived alone, he was  70 years old.

To many his death was expected as in previous years he had been fighting a variety of illnesses including cancer.

The  C language is widely used today in application, operating system, and embedded system development, and its influence is seen in most modern programming languages. Unix has also been influential, establishing concepts and principles that are now precepts of computing.

Systems in which Dennis Ritchies' work can still be seen


  1. bell labs
  2. wikipedia 
  3. aaxnet

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James - Mar 2, 2012