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Biographies Pioneers of computing K-Z

This index mentions most of the computer pioneers and their inventions, or other important people in computers or computing industry.
Due to the length of the index we have cut the index into two parts: [A-J] and [K-Z] you can navigate through both parts via the alfabet icon (see below) from both pages; they have identical mappings.
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Recently we have added a list of historic papers as they are referenced via the biographies, readers asked us to insert an index page for easier retrieval: index of papers of computer pioneers
Though we think this list to be fairly complete please if you find omissions mail us


  • Kapor, Mitch ; (1950- ) developer of Lotus 1-2-3 along with Jonathan Sachs, and founded the Lotus Development Corp. in 1982, Kapor Enterprises
  • Karmanos, Peter; Founded Compuware in 1973; developer of IBM systems software, along with Thomas Thewes, Allen B. Cutting
  • Katch, David (deceased); Co-founded Boole & Babbage in 1967; pioneered performance management software
  • Katz, Charles; (1927- )
  • Katz, Philip; (1963 -2000) Inventor of PKZip
  • Kay, Andy; KAYPRO
  • Kay, Alan; inventor of smalltalk and dynabook, a visionair in computing
  • Keet, Lee; Co-founded turnkey systems, inc., which sold Taskmaster, one of the first telecommunications monitors, in 1967
  • Kemeny, John G. (1926-1992) co-developer along with Thomas Kurtz, of the programming language BASIC and  founder of true basic corporation in 1964
  • Kempelen, Wolfgang von; (1734-1804)
  • Kepler, Johannes ; astronome who corresponded with Schickard about a calculator
  • Kernighan, Brian W ; developed with Ritchie Unix en C, co-invented Awk (1977)
  • Kilby, Jack Sinclair, (2) (1923) co-inventor of the integrated circuit at Texas Instruments independently and at the same time as Robert Noyce did this at Fairchild Semiconductor; Along with Jerry D. Merryman and James Van Tassel, Kilby helped invent the first electronic handheld calculator by adapting the integrated circuit.
  • Kilburn, Tom ; invented the binary adder
  • Kildall, Gary; (2) (1942-1994 ) creator of cp/m operating system for Digital Research
  • Kinsberger, Jack van; Member of IBM’s 360 operating system design team in 1967; technical VP at Boole & Babbage
  • Knuth, Donald Ervin (1938- ) author, mathematician, computer scientist and pioneer researcher on  compilers, attribute grammars, algorithms and digital typography, (2) (TeX) , a seven volume series on "The Art of Programming"
  • Kolence, Ken; Co-founded Boole & Babbage in 1967; pioneered performance management software
  • Kubie, Elmer; Founded Computer Usage Company, the world’s first computer software company, with John W. Sheldon in March, 1955
  • Kurtz, Thomas E. ; (1928) co-developer (Kemeny) of BASIC programming language in 1964 and  co-founder of true basic corporation
  • Kurtzig, Sandra; Founded Ask Computer Systems in 1971; introduced first multiterminal mini-based MRP system
  • Lake, Clair D. ; (1888-1958) one of the co-inventors of the Harvard-IBM MARK I
  • Lamport, Leslie
  • Lampson, Butler; (1943-) pioneer on operating systems
  • Landry, John; Led McCormick & Dodge development team in release of Millennium environment (1983)
  • Lanier, Jaron - computer scientist, artist and musician
    Learn, Dale; Co-founded Information Science, Inc. (InSci), which sold payroll and human resources software, in 1965
  • Langefors, Borje; (1915- )
  • Lebedev, Sergei A. 1902-1974; MESM computer, Ukraine
  • Lecht, Charles  (deceased); Pioneered compiler technology, founded Advanced Computer Techniques in 1962
  • Lehmer, Derrick Henry ; (1905-91)
  • Lehovec, Kurt
  • Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm von; (1646-1716) the first to discuss the binary system
  • Lenat, Doug
  • DaVinci, Leonardo (1452-1519) Polymath in the 15/16th century whom invented presumably the first calculating machine
  • Levin, Leonid
  • Licklidder, Joseph C.R. (1914-1990) instrumental in the construction of the internet (ARPA)
  • Lovelace, Augusta Ada Countess of , (2); 1816-1852 translating a report from French into to English on a lecture Babbage gave, she added her own lengthy notes to the text, and has been credited with developing the concepts of "loop" and "subroutine".
  • Lowry, Dave; Founded Data Design Associates to sell accounts payable software in 1973.
  • Ludd, Edward; Alledgedly tried to destroy engines and kind to prevent loss of job
  • Ludgate, Percy E.; (1883-1922)
  • Lukoff, Herman; (1923-79)
  • Lull, Ramon (1235-1315)
  • Lyons, Mike; Software re-engineering pioneer; co-founded Catalyst Corp. in 1979
  • Machover, Carl ; Pioneer in graphics and image processing techniques and consultant to CAD and CAM companies
  • Maguire, John ; Founded Software AG in 1971; it sold the Adabas database system in the U.S.
  • Mandelbrot, Benoit; Discovered a way to create a complete graphical image with mathematical formulas, (2)
  • Mannhein, Amedee
  • Marconi, Guglielmo; Telegraph system
  • Markowitz, Harry ; In the early 1960s, co-founded California Analysis Centers, Inc. (CACI) which developed Symscript, one of the earliest software products
  • Markkula, A.C. "Mike" Former Intel executive who invested in Apple early on, essentially becoming a third partner to Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs.
  • Martin, James; Founded Information Engineering approach
  • Marquand, Allan; (1853-1924)
  • McCarthy, John (1927- ) co-inventor of artificial intelligence and LISP,  (2) (AI) 1958
  • McCluskey, Edward J.; developed the Quine-McCluskey method for logic minimization
  • McNealy, Scott; co founder of SUN
  • Morse, Samuel ; inventor of morse alfabeth and electrical telegraph
  • Marquand, Allan ; (1853-1924) logic computers
  • Matthaeus, Philip
  • Mauchly, John William, (2) (1907-1980) created with J. Presper Eckert and a 50 member team the first electronic large scale, general purpose calculator, known as the ENIAC.
  • Mauchly, John V.;
  • Mead, Carver  
  • Meagher, Ralph Ernest ; (1917- )
  • Menabrea, L.F.
  • Metcalfe, Bob - (1946) inventor of ethernet and founder of 3com corporation
  • Metropolis, Nicholas C. ; (1915- )
  • Michie, Donald;
  • Milner, Robin (LCF, ML and CCS)
  • Millard, William;
  • Mills, Harlan
  • Miner, Robert (Bob)  (1942-1994); Co-founded Oracle Corp. in 1977; pioneered relationship DBMS
  • Miner, Jay (1932-1994); was responsible for the development of the "Amiga", along with RJ Mical, Dave Morse and Carl Sassenrath.
  • Minsky, Marvin Lee; (1927- ); pioneer in Artificial Intelligence.
  • Mock, Owen; first operating system
  • Moers, Calvin;
  • Moore, Gordon E.; (1929- )
  • Morganthaler, Gary; Pioneered relational DBMS market in the 1970s; while at UC/Berkeley, developed Ingres; co-founded Relational Technology
  • Morland, Samuel (1625-95)
  • Molnar, Charles E.
  • Morse, Samuel;
  • Muller, Joseph
  • Muuss_mike (19nn-2000); creator of "ping" , tccp and CAD solid modeling.
  • Napier, John; (1550-1617) 'Napier Bones', logarithms
  • Naur, Peter; (1928- )
  • Needham, Roger ( 1935-2003); pioneer in operating systems, time sharing systems, memory protection, local area networks and distributed systems.
  • Negroponte, Nicholas;
  • Nelson, Ted; (1937) inventor of hypertext, originator of project Xanadu
  • Neumann, John von; (1903-57) computer architecture, (2),(3)
  • Newell, Allen; (1927-92)
  • Newton, Isaac
  • Newman, M.A.H.;
  • Noorda, Ray; Noorda Family Trust, Father of the PC LAN
  • Norman Nie; Pioneered statistical analysis programming in 1965; founded SPSS (1975)
  • Norris, William (1911) co-founder of control data corporation
  • Noyce, Robert N. (2) (1927 - 1990) co-inventor of the microchip and founder of fairchild semiconductor and intel corporations
  • Nutt, Roy  (deceased); Co-founder of Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC)
  • Nygaard, Kristen; (1926-2002)
  • Odhner, Willgodt Theophil (1845-1905); developed a very succesful table calculator in use until the early 1980's
  • Oelman, Robert, NCR
  • Øersted, Hans Christian (1777-1851); discovery of the unity of electricity and magnetism — electromagnetism.
  • Ohl, Russel (1975) inventor of photo voltaic cell
  • Olliver, Bernard; (1916-1995) Founder of Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in the early 1950's who directed its research for approximately 30 years.
  • Olsen, Kenneth Harry; (1926 - ) member of Whirlwind team, founder of DEC, (2)
  • Opel, John R.; (1925- )
  • Oppenheimer, Robert ; mathematician and one of the scientists producing the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945
  • Orr, Ken; Founded Ken Orr & Assoc.; developed Case methodology in the 1970s
  • Osborne, Adam - (1939-2003 ) inventor of portable computers, Osborn I
  • Oughtred, William
  • Packard, David; (1912-1996 ) co-founder of Hewlett Packard, (2)
  • Paper, Seymour; designed the LOGO computer language as a learning tool for children.(1967)
  • Page, Peter; Developed Software AG’s Natural, pioneered 4GLS (1979)
  • Pascal, Blaise, (2); (1623-1666) phylosopher, mathematician and inventor of the pascaline
  • Pasta, John R.; (1918-81)
  • Pastore, Annibale; (1868-1936)
  • Paterson, Tim; (1956-) Original developer of DOS for PC's
  • Patterson, John Henry; (1844-1922) founder of NCR
  • Patrick, Bob; develops first operating system
  • Peddle, Chuck
  • Perot, H. Ross ;
  • Pickette, Wayne D.; inventor of the principle of the CPU on a chip
  • Pinkerton, John
  • Planck, Max
  • Poel, William Louis van der; (1926- )
  • Porter, Andrew;
  • Postley, John; Developed Mark IV (1967), the first million dollar software product, for Informatics
  • Postel, Jonathan (Internet)
  • Proulx, Merle; Author of Uccel’s DB4 DBMS and UCC COBOL (1974)
  • Pugh, Emerson W.; (1929- )
  • Rabin, Michael
  • Rajchman, John; (1911-89)
  • Ramo, Simon; (1913- )
  • Rand, James Henry ; (1886-1968)
  • Randell, Brian; (1936- )
  • Raskin, Jef (1943–2005); human-computer interface expert best-known for starting the Macintosh project for Apple Computer in the late 1970s.
  • Rees, Mina Spiegel ; (1902- )
  • Ritchie, Dennis M.;  (1941); developed in the early 1970s with Kernigan Unix(3) en C (2) - developed the UNIX computer operating system, C was devised as a system implementation language for the nascent Unix operating system.
  • Ridenour, Louis; (1911-59)
  • Roberts, H. Edward; with three friends, founded the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), the company soon introduced the Altair
  • Rock, Arthur; co-founder Intel, primary funder Fairchild
  • Roberts, Larry; (1937) considered "the father of the internet"
  • Rosen, Saul; (1922-91)
  • Ross, Douglas; Developed Automatically Programmed Tools (1958), paving the way for computer-aided manufacturing
  • Rothrie, Dr. James B.; Developed distributed database technology at Computer Corp. of America (1976)
  • Rowe, Lawrence; Pioneered relational DBMS market in the 1970s; while at UC/Berkeley, developed Ingres; co-founded Relational Technology
  • Rutherford, Ernest
  • Sall, John; Co-founded SAS Institute in 1976; developer of the SAS System
  • Sammet, Jean; (1928- ) Early language compiler programmer; author of a book on history of computer languages, she was the first female president of ACM
  • Sassenrath, Carl; one of the designers of the Amiga OS
  • Scheutz, Georg Pehr; (1785-1873) (2) Difference Engine, Sweden
  • Scheutz, Edvard,(1785-1873) Sweden (2) Difference Engine modelled after Babbage's designs, Sweden with Edvard Raphael (1821-1881)
  • Schickard, Wilhelm (1592-1635)
  • Schott, Gaspard (1608-66)
  • Schrayer, Michael; electric pencil, first word processor
  • Schreyer, Helmut; (1912-1984) helped Konrad Zuse design and build his electro-mechanical computers
  • Shannon, Claude Elwood; (1916- 1999) digital design systems; (2) - computer pioneer, (3) information theory
  • Shaw, Cliff J.; (1922-91)
  • Shaw Billings, John Shaw ; (1839-1913)
  • Shockley, William Bradford; (1910-1989) British co-inventor of the transistor, with John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. The three shared a nobel prize in physics in 1956.
  • Sholes, Christopher; 5.25" disk
  • Shugart, Alan; 5.25" disk; (2) - co-founder of seagate technology corporation
  • Simon, Herbert Alexander ; (1916-2001) pioneer in Artificial Intelligence
  • Sinclair, Clive (1940-); invented the ZX80, the price of computers dropped below $100 (1) (personal computers)
  • Sippl, Roger J.; Founded Informix in 1980; developed DBMS application tools
  • Skoll, Jeff; first full time employee and first president of eBay, an auction site
  • Slutz, Ralph J.;
  • Smith, Burton
  • Stallman, Richard (1953-);  Open Source Software, the GNU project
  • Stanhope, Charles 3rd earl of
  • Stibitz, George Robert ; (2) (1914-1995) computernetworks, datacommunication, used Boolean logic to add, subtract, multiply, and divide complex numbers. This Complex Number calculator, completed in 1939, provided the foundation for digital computers
  • Stonebraker, Michael; Pioneered relational DBMS market in the 1970s; while at UC/Berkeley, developed Ingres; co-founded Relational Technology
  • Stroustrup, Bjarne (1950), invented the C++ programming language
  • Sutherland, Ivan (1938-); electronics engineer, computer graphics and virtual reality pioneer, (2) (graphics)
  • Strachey, Christopher; 1916-75) denotational semantics
  • Svoboda, Antonin; (1907-80)
  • Tarjan, Robert
  • Tarski, Alfred; ( 1901-I983)
  • Teal, Gordon; (1907) transistor, perfected a way of making transistors out of silicate, one of the most common elements, instead of using germanium, which is expensive
  • Tesla, Nikola; (1856-1943) Tesla coils, umpty inventions with electricity, a modern day Leonardi da Vinci
  • Thompson, Kenneth (1943-) , (2) Unix
  • Tompson, Joseph John,
  • Tramiel, Jack; Commodore PET, the C64 computer a multimillion seller
  • Torres y Quevedo, Leonardo; (1852-1936)
  • Torvalds, Linus(2) (Linux organisation)
  • Trevisa
  • Treybig, Jimmy; Founder of Tandem computers
  • Turing, Alan Mathison; (1912-1954) Treatise on On computable numbers, (2) (Colossus and code-breaking)
  • Ulam, Stanley M.;
  • Utman, Richard; (1926- )
  • Verea, Ramon; (1838-99)
  • Veit, Stan; (1919-) Pioneer in the PC arena, setting up one of the first computer outlets in the US, publisher
  • Viehe, F.W.; core memory
  • Volta, Allessandro; electrical current
  • Wall, Larry (); developer of programming language Perl, playing a vital role in or for the internet.
  • Wang, An; (1920-1990) Magnetic Core Memory, (2)
  • Wang, Charles ; Founded Computer Associates (1975), first software company to exceed $500M
  • Ware, Willis Howard ; (1920- )
  • Warnock, John E.; invented Post-Script PDL (Page Description Language) a major factor leading to the desktop publishing revolution. He and Charles Geschke were the founders of Adobe Systems
  • Watt, James; improved and made the steam engine multi purpose
  • Watson, Bill; Founded Software International to sell general ledger software (early 1970s)
  • Watson, Thomas John ; (1874-1956) president of the International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. who built up the company during WWII and also invested in Howard Aiken's plan to build the Harvard MARK I calculator
  • Watson, Jr., Thomas John ; (1914-1992) He took over his father's position as president of IBM in 1952, convinced that the company should build and market computers. He eventually led the company to having total domination of the computer market
  • Werner, Lee;
  • Weizenbaum, Joseph; (1923- )
  • Wheeler, David John ; (1927-2004)
  • Wiberg, Martin; (1826-1905)
  • Wiener, Norbert; (1894-1964) mathematician, pioneer of cybernetics and artificial intelligence
  • Wijngaarden, Arie van; (1933-87)
  • Wilkes, Maurice; (1913- ) (2) (EDSAC) EDSAC 2
  • Williams, Hugh; One of the members of the IBM team which developed the plan for unbundling software from hardware in 1969
  • Wilkinson, J.H. numerical analysis
  • Williams, Frederic Calland; (1911-1977) RAM - Williams Tube (CRT), (2)
  • Wirth, Niclaus; (1934) Pascal, Modula-2 programming languages, (2) Oberon an object oriented operating system
  • Wolfram, Stephen (Mathematica)
  • Wong, Eugene; Pioneered relational DBMS market in the 1970s; while at UC/Berkeley, developed Ingres; co-founded Relational Technology
  • Woodger, Michael;
  • Wooldridge, Dean Everett ; (1913- )
  • Wozniak, Stephen,(1950- ) (2), (3), co founder of Apple
  • Yamachita, Hideo (1899-1993); Japanese engineer considered the father of Japan's computer industry. He led the team in 1950 that created Japan's first large electronic computer, the Tokyo Automatic Calculator (TAC), with vacuum tubes
  • Yourdon, Ed; Developed the concept of structured programming, Case methodologies (1976)
  Zemanek, Heinz; (1920- )
Zuse, Konrad,(1910-1995) (2)(3) , inventor of Z1 - Z4 wartime computers with binary arithmatic


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Footnotes & References