The man who conceived the first Apple Macintosh has died at the age of 61. Jef Raskin joined Apple in 1978 to start its publications department, but the following year came up with the idea which launched the company to success: to market affordable, easy-to-use computers in an era when most were text-driven and difficult to program.
Raskin, the company's 31st employee, left before the computer was actually launched in the marketplace, but led the project to develop the Mac until 1981. He left the company completely the following year after a falling-out with Steve Jobs.
Andy Hertzfeld, an early Mac team member, paid tribute: "His role on the Macintosh was the initiator of the project, so it wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. One of the biggest things I give Jef credit for was putting together the very beginnings of the Mac team with some extraordinary people who didn't necessarily have the credentials, but had everything else to do something great."
Raskin died on Saturday night at his home in Pacifica, California. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December.
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