Dennis Ritchie Creator of C and Unix Passes Away

Born September 9, 1941(1941-09-09) Bronxville, New York
Died October 8, 2011(2011-10-08)Murray Hill, New Jersey
Fields Computer Science

Institutions Lucent Technologies Bell Labs

Alma mater Harvard University

Notable awards

Turing Award
National Medal of Technology

Known for


· B


· C

· Multics

· Unix

I was planning to blog about the Great Steve Jobs this week and all his accomplishments that had inspired or motivated every wannabe innovators. But after coming to hear of this news I just dropped my thought because I feel this guy deserves equal tribute to Steve Jobs for being the Inventor of The C programming Language and co-creator of Unix Operating system. And the whole world has already given Steve Jobs a mammoth tribute and I didn’t want to be monotonous on that front.

Let us ask ourselves this question. How many developers today have started learning Programming with C when they were under graduated?

I would say 100% at least in India.

C was the first programming language that I personally learned when I was a Novice. Today I still credit all the logical programming thinking every one of us have comes from C.
The very first editions on C was also written by him:

“C is a general-purpose computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Telephone Laboratories for use with the Unix operating system. C is one of the most popular programming languages of all times and there are very few computer architectures for which a C compiler does not exist. C has greatly influenced many other popular programming languages, most notably C++, which began as an extension to C. Today C is a general-purpose, fast, portable and widely used language.”

Although others might have also learned Java as their first programming language but C definitely has been the foundation of Programming languages and I believe is still the core for most of the Software Technologies out there including Operating Systems we use in our day to day life. Although I am not a die-hard fan of C (ironically I could just be in those .0001% people) but I still cherish the moments when I learned programming concepts starting from basic Looping statements, Pointers and horrifying data structure concepts. Most importantly it teaches you the problem solving skills and basic understanding skills of algorithmic way of writing a program.

I could still remember the first programs I ever executed where of Basic Logo, C and Pascal. The excitement and happiness I had while I successfully executed my very first “HELLO WORLD” program in C is unexplainable.

/* Hello World program */




printf("Hello World");


The news of Ritchie’s death was first made public by way of Rob Pike‘s Google+. His post today mentions that he passed away last weekend shows how the news is now slowly spreading across.

I have to agree with my friends comment on Facebook that says “There is no Apple, iPhone ,Microsoft without him”. The sole reason being C was treated as the Mother Of All Programming languages and all other languages where either built over or inspired by it.
Please post your comments on blog to share your experience and share via email or any social media to give the guy a tribute he is worth for.

I really hope the technology world realizes the importance of this man and pay tribute to him for his contribution.