Creator of C programming language and co-developer of Unix Dennis Ritchie departs this life at age of 70
After a tragic loss of Steve Jobs at the age of 56, another legendary icon in the history of Information Technology, the creator of programming language C and a co-developer of UNIX along
with Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, passed on at the age of 70. Reports say that he was found dead at his residence in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey last week.
Commonly known by his username “dmr” which stands for his complete name, Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, was suffering from prostate cancer and heart disease for a long time.
Meanwhile, the people who worked with Ritchie over the years were badly hit by the news and felt for the old friend. They always appreciated his meticulous, clean and concise personality.
Especially his co-developer of Unix, Ken Thompson said, “We were very complementary. Sometimes personalities clash, and sometimes they meld. It was just good with Dennis.”
The history of IT has seen two giants of technology dying in the recent weeks, Steve Jobs in the past weeks and now Dennis Ritchie, who made enormous contribution in giving IT world the
shape it is in today.
Ritchie’s death may not get much break in news like death of Jobs did but certainly his contributions were second to none for the IT industry. Even some experts say, it was Ritchie’s efforts
which enabled Jobs to achieve this much today.
Ritchie created the C Programming Language which is now widely used in operating systems, applications and embedded system development and the successors of this language C++ and Java
are also based on the designs provided by Ritchie himself. Even today, C Programming Language remains the second most famous and used programming language.
On the other hand, in 1967, Ritchie spent most of his time in Bell Labs, one of the largest phone providers in those times. Working along with Ken Thompson, creator of B Programming Language
and currently working with Google Inc., they decided to make an operating system suited to upcoming minicomputers at that time which resulted in the development of Unix in 1971.
By the year 1973, Ritchie and Thompson redeveloped the syntax and functionality of Unix by rewriting it in C programming language. The C language in this version of Unix had the ability
to program an operating system.