Dennis Ritchie real name was Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie. However, Ritchie never officially received his PhD degree as he did not submit a bound copy of his dissertation to the Harvard library, a requirement for the degree. "[18], In 1983, Ritchie and Thompson received the Turing Award "for their development of generic operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the UNIX operating system". In 1970, Brian Kernighan suggested the name "Unix", a pun on the name "Multics". A spokeswoman said the company was trying to contact his family. He suggested that many of the improvements he introduced simply "looked like a good thing to do," and that anyone else in the same place at the same time might have done the same thing. Please accept Echovita’s sincere condolences. 78272).[46]. 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", "Without Dennis Ritchie, there would be no Steve Jobs", "The C Family of Languages: Interview with Dennis Ritchie, Bjarne Stroustrup, and James Gosling" – article in Java Report, 5(7), July 2000 and C++ Report, 12(7), July/August 2000, "The Guru" – article in Linux Magazine, June 2001, Dennis Ritchie's video interview June 2011,, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences alumni, Wikipedia articles with ACM-DL identifiers, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 09:28. Linux seems to be among the healthiest of the direct Unix derivatives, though there are also the various BSD systems as well as the more official offerings from the workstation and mainframe manufacturers. Kernighan told The New York Times "The tools that Dennis built—and their direct descendants—run pretty much everything today.”[33] Kernighan reminded readers of how important a role C and Unix had played in the development of later high-profile projects, such as the iPhone. Modern software is written using one of C's more evolved dialects. Ritchie was also involved with the development of the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems, and the programming language Limbo. Nowadays, the C language is widely used in application, operating system, and embedded system development, and its influence is seen in most modern programming languages. For the first time C enabled the same program to work on different machines. [13], During the 1970s, Ritchie collaborated with James Reeds and Robert Morris on a ciphertext-only attack on the M-209 US cipher machine that could solve messages of at least 2000–2500 letters. Ritchie is best known for his contributions to computer programming and software. [16] They were so influential on Research Unix that Doug McIlroy later wrote, "The names of Ritchie and Thompson may safely be assumed to be attached to almost everything not otherwise attributed."[17]. The cause and exact time of death have not been disclosed. See our, Read a limited number of articles each month, You consent to the use of cookies and tracking by us and third parties to provide you with personalized ads, Unlimited access to on any device, Unlimited access to all Washington Post apps, No on-site advertising or third-party ad tracking. [21], In 1997, both Ritchie and Thompson were made Fellows of the Computer History Museum, "for co-creation of the UNIX operating system, and for development of the C programming language. [34][35] Other testimonials to his influence followed. Apple uses objective C, Microsoft uses C# and Java is the choice of internet applications. He was the "R" in K&R C, and commonly known by his username dmr. A cause of death was not immediately available. [2] He created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the Unix operating system and B programming language. As part of an AT&T restructuring in the mid-1990s, Ritchie was transferred to Lucent Technologies, where he retired in 2007 as head of System Software Research Department. C fundamentally changed the way computer programs were written. His father was Alistair E. Ritchie, a longtime Bell Labs scientist and co-author of The Design of Switching Circuits[6] on switching circuit theory. Dennis Ritchie was born in Bronxville, New York. He was the son of Alistair E. Ritchie (father) and Jean McGee Ritchie (mother). [27] He had been in frail health for several years following treatment for prostate cancer and heart disease. We rely on readers like you to uphold a free press. Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – c. October 12, 2011)[2][3][4][5] was an American computer scientist. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007. Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie was an American computer scientist. [11], During the 1960s, Ritchie and Ken Thompson worked on the Multics operating system at Bell Labs. Unix has been influential establishing computing concepts and principles that have been widely adopted. Dennis Ritchie Obituary. With heavy hearts, we announce the death of Dennis Ritchie (Kannapolis, North Carolina), born in Concord, North Carolina, who passed away on April 12, 2019 at the age of 76. Ritchie was under the radar. He was born on September 9, 1941 at Bronxville, New York, United States. [14] Ritchie relates that, after discussions with the NSA, the authors decided not to publish it, as they were told that the principle was applicable to machines still in use by foreign governments.[14]. [9] [10] In 2020, the Computer History museum worked with Ritchie's family and Fischer's family and found a copy of the lost dissertation. He created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the Unix operating system and B programming language. [7], In 1967, Ritchie began working at the Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center, and in 1968, he defended his PhD thesis on "Program Structure and Computational Complexity" at Harvard under the supervision of Patrick C. Fischer. [8] He graduated from Harvard University with degrees in physics and applied mathematics. At the same Usenix 1984 conference, Dennis Ritchie is visible in the middle, wearing a striped shirt, behind Steven Bellovin wearing a baseball hat. This content is currently not available in your region. Dennis Ritchie at the Japan Prize Foundation in May 2011, [Pioneer Programmer Shaped the Evolution of Computers, Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2011, p.A7], Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Japan Prize for Information and Communications, "Dennis Ritchie, Programming Trailblazer, Dies at 70", "Unix creator Dennis Ritchie dies aged 70", "Pioneer Programmer Shaped the Evolution of Computers", "Berkeley Heights man wins Japan Prize for inventing UNIX operating system", "The First SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award", "Discovering Dennis Ritchie's Lost Dissertation", "The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System", "Dennis Ritchie, father of C programming language, dies", "A.M. Turing Award Laureate - Dennis M. Ritchie", "1983 Turing Award Lecture: Reflections on Software Research", "IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal Recipients", "Dennis Ritchie — CHM Fellow Award Winner", "Dennis Ritchie, Bell Labs Researcher and Co-Inventor of Unix, Receives 2005 Industrial Research Institute Achievement Award", "Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie win Japan Prize", "Summary Box: Dennis Ritchie, pioneer in computer programming at Bell Labs, dies at 70", "Dennis Ritchie, Father of C and Co-Developer of Unix, Dies", "Dennis Ritchie, a tech genius as great as Steve Jobs", "Dennis Ritchie, founder of Unix and C, dies at 70", "No one thought 'C' would become so big: Brian Kernighan", "Dennis Ritchie, 70, Dies, Programming Trailblazer", "The tale of three deeply different technologists", "Dennis Ritchie, creator of C, bids "goodbye, world, "Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy: Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy, machine whisperers, died on October 8th and 24th respectively, aged 70 and 84", "The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix", "The forgotten tech luminaries: The new generation of the digital age owe a part of their numeric souls to Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy", "Was Dennis Ritchie more important than Steve Jobs? [2] First news of his death came from his former colleague, Rob Pike. "[40] Another commentator said, "Ritchie, on the other hand, invented and co-invented two key software technologies which make up the DNA of effectively every single computer software product we use directly or even indirectly in the modern age. [7] As a child, Dennis moved with his family to Summit, New Jersey, where he graduated from Summit High School.

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