Mourning the father of computing

The Father of the C programming language has passed on. He's remembered in true Internet style

Mar 3, 2020, 11:09 am*


Fernando Alfonso III 

Fernando Alfonso III

Dennis Ritchie, the father of the C programming language, has died and Reddit and Twitter are paying their respects the only way they know how.

With messages written In C programming.

#include <stdio.h>int main() {printf(“Thanks for everything Dennis Ritchie.n”);}” tweeted Derek Hunt of Middletown, Conn.


“#include <stdio.h>
int main(void){
printf(“goodbye world :( n”);
return(70);}” wrote the floorisnowbacon on Reddit.


Ritchie created the world-famous programming language while working at Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center during the 1960s. While there he also co-founded Unix, a versatile operating system typically used to power huge data centers and servers. The software has been used to develop other operating systems like open-source Linux, Apple’s OS X, and proprietary UNIX operating systems, AIX.

“In our experience, C has proven to be a pleasant, expressive, and versatile language for a wide variety of program,” wrote Ritchie in his 1978 introduction to his famous book The C Programming Language. “It is easy to learn, and it wears well as ones experience with it grows.”

Ritchie’s creations earned him the Turing Award in 1978, the National Medal of Technology in 1999, and a top spot on Twitters trending topic list.

In the last four hours, Ritchie has been mentioned more than 25,000 times, according to Topsy, a social media search engine.

His death was also the topic of a front page Reddit post where many called him “the most important person of the tech revolution.”

“People outside of the computer science world will not understand exactly how this man, directly or indirectly, change their world. EVERY SINGLE DAY, they use something that was directly or inspired by this mans work. From the ATM, web browser, phones, car systems, etc,” wrote gordigor. “Sadly he won’t get the national recognition he deserves.”

Take a look at this Storify on Ritchie created by Kamla Bhatt.

Photo by Fernando Alfonso III.

Share this article
*First Published: Oct 13, 2011, 3:08 pm