Xerox PARC founder dies aged 90
Research lab laid foundation for modern computing
By Jeremy Kirk | Published: 10:40, 23 December 2011
Jacob E. Goldman, a founder of the Palo Alto Research Centre that developed breakthrough computing innovations such as the graphical user interface and Ethernet networks, died on Tuesday. He was 90.
Goldman was recruited from Ford Motor Company to Xerox, where he pushed for a research center that he warned might not bear fruit for as long as 10 years, according to The New York Times, which reported that he died of congestive heart failure.
But in the decade following PARC's founding in 1970, the laboratory created a string of innovations that still resonate in modern computing today, from laser printing to object-oriented programming to the world's first WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editor.
In 1975, PARC unveiled the graphical user interface with popup menus and windows and point-and-click controls. The GUI represented crucial ground work later built upon by companies such as Microsoft and Apple and eventually launched personal computing in the 1980s.
In a notice in The Times, Goldman is described as "a dynamic leader and ardent supporter of innovative technologies."