Death of “Renowned Inventor Of PDF” Charles Geschke Huge Loss, in software world

Insight Online News

Charles “Chuck” Geschke, the co-founder of a major software company Adobe who helped develop the Portable Document Format technology, or PDFs, has died at age 81, the company said in a statement.

“This is a huge loss for the entire Adobe community and the technology industry, for whom he has been a guide and hero for decades,” Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen wrote in an email to the company’s employees.

“As co-founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed groundbreaking software that has revolutionised how people create and communicate,” he said.

Geschke co-founded Adobe in 1982 with John Warnock, a colleague from Xerox. Their first product was Adobe PostScript, a radical new way to print text and images on paper that sparked the desktop publishing revolution.

“Chuck instilled a relentless drive for innovation in the company, resulting in some of the most transformative software inventions, including the ubiquitous PDF, Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Photoshop,” Narayen said.

Geschke was chief operating officer (CEO) of Adobe from 1986 to 1994 and president from 1989 until his retirement in 2000. He served as chairman of the board with Warnock from 1997 to 2017 and a member of the board until April 2020, when he transitioned to become emeritus board member.

“As much as his inventions changed the world, it is his focus on people, purpose and culture that has profoundly impacted each of us at Adobe,” the Adobe CEO said.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Das

“I could never have imagined having a better, more likable, or more capable business partner,” he added. “I admired his brilliance, kindness and values that defined his character and am grateful that I had the privilege to know and work with him. His absence will certainly leave a huge hole in my heart.”

In 1992, Geschke was kidnapped in a high-profile incident, where he was held at gunpoint in his office and held for four days. Geschke was freed after a suspect, found with $650,000 (~₹5 crore) in ransom money, took police to the location where he was being held, The Associated Press reported.

In recognition of his technical achievements, Geschke was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the Computer Entrepreneur Award from the IEEE Computer Society, and the American Electronics Association Medal of Honor.

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