His name was not a household name at all, but... if you had a microscope and could look in a computer, you'd see his work everywhere inside. Here is Dennis Ritchie’s obituary.  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..  Ritchie's Turing Award lecture was titled "Reflections on Software Research". Kernighan told The New York Times "The tools that Dennis built—and their direct descendants—run pretty much everything today.” 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. His father was Alistair E. Ritchie, a longtime Bell Labs scientist and co-author of The Design of Switching Circuits on switching circuit theory. A … , 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. Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie was an American computer scientist. ", 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". By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms.   In 2020, the Computer History museum worked with Ritchie's family and Fischer's family and found a copy of the lost dissertation.  Other testimonials to his influence followed. 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. C fundamentally changed the way computer programs were written.  Pike received word Oct. 12 that Dr. Ritchie’s body had been discovered last weekend. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007.  FreeBSD 9.0, released January 12, 2012 was also dedicated in his memory. At the same Usenix 1984 conference, Dennis Ritchie is visible in the middle, wearing a striped shirt, behind Steven Bellovin wearing a baseball hat. He was Scientists (Computer Scientist) by profession. Later, B was replaced by C, created by Ritchie, who continued to contribute to the development of Unix and C for many years.  To supplement assembly language with a system-level programming language, Thompson created B. In an interview shortly after Ritchie's death, long time colleague Brian Kernighan said Ritchie never expected C to be so significant. ", On April 21, 1999, Thompson and Ritchie jointly received the National Medal of Technology of 1998 from President Bill Clinton for co-inventing the UNIX operating system and the C programming language which, according to the citation for the medal, "led to enormous advances in computer hardware, software, and networking systems and stimulated growth of an entire industry, thereby enhancing American leadership in the Information Age". The company confirmed his death to The Associated Press but would not disclose the cause of death or when Ritchie died. , During the 1960s, Ritchie and Ken Thompson worked on the Multics operating system at Bell Labs. The cause and exact time of death have not been disclosed. Ritchie was also involved with the development of the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems, and the programming language Limbo. , Reflecting upon his death, a commentator compared the relative importance of Steve Jobs and Ritchie, concluding that "[Ritchie's] work played a key role in spawning the technological revolution of the last forty years—including technology on which Apple went on to build its fortune. It sounds like a wild claim, but it really is true.  In 1990, both Ritchie and Thompson received the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), "for the origination of the UNIX operating system and the C programming language".