Dennis Ritchie, Principal Designer of C, Dies

Dennis Ritchie, a veteran of Bell Labs and the principal developer, died Wednesday at his home in New Jersey.

In the late 1960s and early ’70s, working at Bell Labs, Mr. Ritchie made a pair of lasting contributions to computer science. He was the principal designer of the C programming language and co-developer of the Unix operating system, working closely with Ken Thompson, his longtime Bell Labs collaborator.

The C language is widely used in the development, embedded systems and operating systems. Unix was developed as an assembly language in 1969, but was recoded in C around 1973.

Ritchie had been in poor health for some time. He was 70.

No Responses to “Dennis Ritchie, Principal Designer of C, Dies”

  1. Dan Lark

    Over the years Mr. Ritchie may have heard me curse his name as I attended required training on C and Unix. 2004, at a Unix refresher class I attended someone said in frustration “why do we have to learn a language older than DOS?”. I agreed at the time but….

    The answer is that no one has ever created a non-platform-dependent language as useful or powerful as C++ and Unix. I still use (Unix/Linux) today for all client/server activities and maintenance. Years from now it will probably still be a system staple. It’s demise and pending replacement ‘by something newer’ has been predicted the last 20 years. Almost as often as the predicted end of COBOL use.

  2. Unix is part of Macintosh, Linux has been the fastest growing operating systems for years.
    Linux and FreeBSD are among favorite for scientific research labs and Universities around the world. Linux can be a real time operating for those who cannot afford something else.

    I would not even make an attempt to talk about DOS and UNIX/Linux in one and the same paragraph. What is history is the books and HOWTOs on dual-boot DOS and Linux, because DOS is history… even if we still use some of its command line features.
    Operating systems are still written in C – the language engineered by Kernighan and Ritchie.