Dennis Ritchie, creator of C and co-creator of Unix, dies

One of the biggest names in the early days of modern computer programming has died. Bell Labs confirmed today that Dennis Ritchie, who created the C programming language and was the co-creator of the Unix operating system, passed away at the age of 70. A Google+ post from a long time colleague, Rob Pike, said that Ritchie died over the weekend at his home. There is no info on the cause of death but apparently he had been dealing with a long term illness.

Ritchie began working at Bell Labs in 1967 and soon started developing the programming language that came to be known as C. Around the same time he helped to develop the Unix operating system with others, including Ken Thompson, at Bell Labs which was programmed in the C language. In 1978, Ritchie co-authored the book The C Programming Language with Brian Kernighan which is considered to be the definitive work on C. He worked on a number of other projects at Bell Labs before he retired in 2007 although he remained a consultant to the company.

In his post today on the Bell Labs web site, its president Jeong Kim said, "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."

Image via Bell Labs

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