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Red Hat Takes Its Hat Off to Dennis Ritchie
October 14, 2011
by Tim Burke, Vice President Linux Engineering
It is with sad hearts that the Red Hat community mourns the passing of computing pioneer Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie. Dennis Ritchie 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.
UNIX code was also shared with universities where it became the foundation of the learning and advancement of operating system practices. Similarly, the C programming language became a staple of the computer science classroom. Many of us literally grew up in Dennis' technical shadow and still have his book, The C Programming Language, co-authored with Brian Kernighan and more fondly referred to as K & R, on our shelves. It remains a source of inspiration and practical help to programmers to this day.
Most of what we do is heavily influenced by Dennis’s outstanding contributions – both in the technical arena and as a founder of the concept of community development. We at Red Hat look with awe and reverence on his legacy.